Fugitive emissions addressing the challenge
An estimated R27,5 billion ($2 billion) of natural gas is lost to leaks each year. From an environmental perspective, this is worrying considering that raw methane is 28 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2 . Around the world, experts agree that if natural gas is to rival coal as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, then raw methane emissions must be held to less than one percent of total production. Pipes, Pumps and Valves Africa finds out more. James Simpson of Trelleborg Sealing Solutions in Italy says fugitive emissions are a growing concern for the valve industry. "The global control valve market is expected to be worth around R143 billion ($10,4 billion) by 2025 with the volume of control valves set to reach around 13 734 thousand units by that time. The market is driven by energy production activities,” he explains. “Demand is centred around exhaustive applications throughout upstream, midstream and downstream gas production activities. Within downstream sectors such as refineries and chemical process plants, control of leakage
Pipes, Pumps and Valves Africa - May/Jun 2021
has to be tightly controlled.” In the USA alone an estimated 300 000 tons of emissions are released from chemical plants each year. Valves, says Simpson, account for 60% of fugitive emissions. “Environmental legislation and sustainability policies are driving requirement to reduce emissions. While downstream valves are key drivers, the upstream sector has demand for secure gas systems at pressures above 69Mpa. What are fugitive emissions? Defined as the emission of gases or vapours from pressurized equipment due to leaks and other unintended or irregular releases of gases, mostly from industrial activities, valves, flanges gaskets and other fittings are increasingly being tested for fugitive emissions by trained test engineers.