Thursday, January 25, 2007

Malvinas: Corners Cut in Corrosion Prevention

In a piece called "Camisea: complicidades y negligencias," reporter, Herbert Mujica Rojas, brings to light Report No. 080-2005-CR/JVR from May 2005, to Peru's Congressional Committee for Fiscalización y Contraloría. The commission found evidence that the consortium Sade Skanska Latintecna JJC (today known as Skanska Peru) did not comply with technical specifications for corrosion prevention in the high temperature pipelines for the Camisea Gas Project and that this was known by Plus Petrol. OSINERG aknowledged the claim made by Skanska subcontractor, Eldaco SAC, the company hired to carry-out Cathodic protection of the high temperature pipelines in Las Malvinas.

The Commission report concludes that OSINERG knew this when it issued a report distorting and hiding the truth by referring to out-of-date Technical Standards when it said that it had detected no violations with respect to the security of the installations. It also accuses the Director General for Hydrocarbons and the Ministry of Energy and Mines of negligence in making claims about the project that contradicted the evidence.

Apparently, Skanska was responsible for building the Malvinas plant, where the gas from the San Martin and Pagoreni gas fields are collected, separated, and sent through the pipeline. Malvinas has the capacity to process 440 million cubic feet of natural gas and 30 thousand barrels of gas condensate each day. Skanska subcontracted Eldaco to apply cathodic protection to pipes that handle high temperature gas (>600ºC). The technical specifications of the treatment were to apply one layer of inorganic zinc and a second layer of silicone to the pipes, both necessary to prevent premature corrosion of the pipes and explosion of the volatile contents. Eldaco claims that Skanska, running behind in completion of the plant, cut corners and ordered the subcontractor to only apply the zinc coating, thus violating project specs. An Eldaco manager provides an account of this in the comments of this article in Servindi.


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