First-of-its-kind “Intelligent Pigging” successfully inspects Rotterdam refinery


    Applus+ was recently approached by a Rotterdam refinery for the inspection of one of its pipelines. When inspecting particularly long gas lines, refineries typically need to unpack the pipeline completely. Recently, however, Applus+ took an alternative approach in its inspection of a 15m-high, 1km-long acid-gas line.

    Traditionally, the internal inspection of unpiggable pipelines is often cost-prohibitive or creates issues for effective pipeline integrity management. Here, however, we used an “Intelligent Pigging” technique, where a smart probe travels the length of the pipe, gathering data as it goes. For this particular inspection, we used our custom-made tool DTI Trekscan, whose key design attributes allow for successful inline inspection of traditionally unpiggable pipelines.

    To facilitate access to the pipeline, an extra piece of pipe was custom-made, and then attached to the pipe that needed inspection. The device was then launched into the pipeline through this extension. The DTI Trekscan swam throughout the entire pipe and successfully collected all of the necessary data in one go.

    This inspection was the first of its kind for the refinery in Rotterdam. Having successfully used DTI Trekscan within complex refinery pipelines, Applus+ has now been asked to undertake further inspections at the same refinery.