Ball valves play a critical role in natural gas liquefaction. Not only do they need to operate reliably at temperatures of -168° C (-270° F), they are integral to process safety, providing critical over-pressurization protection, and equipment isolation during shutdowns.

That’s why the engineering joint venture responsible for developing the world’s largest LNG trains knew they needed more than a valve supplier; they needed a partner that could take a proactive approach to project management and work collaboratively throughout the dynamic development process.

They found the perfect partner in CIRCOR | Pibiviesse, a global leader in the manufacture of manual and automated on/off and control ball valves. In support of this project, Pibiviesse designed, engineered, and manufactured more than 2,400 actuated valves in just 36 months.

Proven Designs and Continuous Collaboration

Valves supplied for the LNG trains ranged in size from two to 42-inches and included metal-seated valves, cryogenic valves, and side- and top-entry valves. The proven design of the Pibiviesse valves were carefully refined throughout the development process to ensure valves met the exact requirements of the application without oversizing.

The cold-bypass control valves provided for the anti-surge function of the compressors were designed to discharge massive quantities of gas during an emergency, controlling the de-pressurization rate, as well as noise and vibration, to safeguard expensive compressors during this extreme condition.

Project timing was maintained through effective collaboration and dedicated resources that facilitated communication and expedited design modifications.  The company also formed a dedicated team to handle the project workload and embedded two engineers within the joint venture to ensure changing requirements could be quickly integrated into valve designs.

Optimizing Costs and Performance

Early in the process, Pibiviesse worked with its suppliers to ensure the availability of required materials at fixed pricing, controlling the impact of fluctuating prices of stainless steel, high nickel alloys, and other commodities as the project progressed.

The company also expanded its cryogenic testing capabilities, increasing its total number of cryogenic testing bays to 15. In addition, the proven valve designs used for the projects enabled representative samples from manufacturing batches to be tested rather than the entire batch, allowing for faster and less expensive cryogenic testing.

Cost savings were also realized through deep interaction between Pibiviesse valve engineers and piping and instrumentation engineers to ensure valve sizes, materials, design, actuation, and instrumentation were all precisely matched to the application.

Pibiviesse valves are now reliably supporting the entire LNG value chain, extending from offshore production through receiving and treatment to liquefaction for the world’s largest LNG operation. All valves have performed to expectations.

To learn more about this project, and Pibiviesse valves, visit the CIRCOR | Pibiviesse website.