Kinder Morgan Gathering Facility, Altamont, UT

Kinder Morgan had to bring its processing facility to KM PSM standards, by addressing a jet-fire scenario of the propane and butane vessels.  In a perfect jet-fire scenario, an LPG vessel can have a Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion (BLEVE) in less than ten minutes!  To meet API 752 siting requirements, and give both plant and neighboring personnel safe egress, it was necessary for a BLEVE scenario to be delayed for one hour or longer.

The solution was to fireproof the LPG vessels:  3 propane (12' x 87'), and 4 butane (12' x 110').  Each of these vessels had a lead-based primer and multiple coats of maintenance epoxy.  An epoxy-based intumescent fireproofing material, previously used in the North Sea on offshore rigs, was determined to be suitable to meet the siting and egress requirements of API 752.  After considering a couple different manufacturers, PPG Pitt-Char XP was selected.

The scope of work included: 

  • SSPC SP10 to a 3 mil profile
  • Apply one coat of PPG Ameron 370 Epoxy Primer
  • Apply 200 mils of PPG Pitt-Char XP
  • Create a single veil of fiberglass mesh with 6-inch overlay
  • Apply 200 mils of PPG Pitt-Char XP
  • Apply a finish coat of PPG Ameron 450 Urethane White

The equipment used included: 

  • Gradall 9,000 lb forklift
  • 1600 CFM air compressor
  • 375 CFM air compressor
  • 45,000 CFM dust collector
  • 50- and 25-KW generators
  • 10-ton Schmidt Blast Pot (set up for 4 blasters)
  • Decontamination trailer
  • Marco XM PFP Plural Component Pump

The vessels were separated into three groups across the storage facility. The logistics of staging, scheduling, and sequencing the work presented a concern.   Our crew, consisting of three media blasters and a blast foreman, three applicators and a paint foreman, an equipment operator, and a Project Manager, addressed the challenge by scaffolding and containing all three areas at the same time.  Managing the containments, however, was tough, given the high winds and unseasonable rains experienced throughout the course of the work.  Another challenge was maintaining temperatures throughout the process.  In order to meet recoat and cure times, the containments were prepared to be heated, as needed.

Overall the project took nine weeks to complete.  This was our biggest project this year, and a valuable experience for Coblaco’s team.  From the quoting phase to closeout, much was learned, and many opportunities arose for creative problem solving.  We hope to continue to bid on similar projects of this scale in the future, and feel we are well prepared to take them on!