Tag Archive | "UK"

Liquid air technology to boost renewables

The report, “Liquid Air Technologies – a guide to the potential”, launched in the British Parliament yesterday shows how liquid air could help balance an electricity grid increasingly dominated by discontinuous renewables. Liquid air technology could also provide an energy storage, reduce CO2 and convert waste heat into usable energy.

The report was published by the Centre for Low Carbon Futures, Liquid Air Energy Network and the University of Birmingham.

The report explains how some renewable energy could be used to liquefy air as a means of storing energy, which could then be used to generate electricity when needed, and provide a convenient and low cost fuel for vehicles including buses and lorries.

A number of UK technologies are in development and demonstration with significant Government
support, including transport applications starting field trials next year. Transportation could be the first market with a secured a grant from the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency, to build and test a liquid air engine fitted in a commercial vehicle.

The report summarises the environmental and economic potential of each of the various liquid air technologies currently available or being developed, and then explores how these could integrate into the wider energy system to form a ‘liquid air economy’.

Posted in Energy and water, NewsComments (0)

Leadership in HSE

Asian countries are emerging as the fastest growing economies. The soon-to-be drivers of energy demands have started to focus on Health Safety and Environment (HSE) as a top priority. Leaders across the oil and gas industry gathered at the Global HSE Conference this year to discuss the paradigm shift, and how to transform business processes which would be both safe and sustainable. Lorraine Bangera writes

The Global HSE Conference 2013 concluded on September 27, with a focus on process safety, emergency response and emerging technologies in health, safety and environment. The two-day conference held in New Delhi was based around the combined theme of ‘Collaborate, Lead and Tranform’. The global conference was organised by Cairn India, Oil Industry Safety Directorate (OISD), and Government of India. Global and regional professionals, along with regulators, industry leaders, think-tanks and policymakers gathered at the event, to share best practices and exchange ideas for improving HSE culture.
Speaking at the conference about the role of each employee, M.M. Murugappan, vice chairman of Murugappa Corporate Board said: “There is a Sanskrit saying ‘yatha raja tatha praja’ which means ‘as is the king so are his subjects’. Leaders of any organisation need to recognise the critical need of HSE and must cherish it. The employee must be valued and he too must adhere to the value system of the institution.” In the oil and gas industry the safety of the workforce has long been an issue of concern thanks to the extreme conditions in which oil is often extracted. But as the industry has progressed, more measures have been introduced.
Claire Forbes, director of Response Consultants said: “Over the last 25 years we have learnt a lot since Piper Alpha [the 1988 oil rig fire in the North Sea]. One of the main problems was how employees were not able to communicate with their families. They also did not know enough information and no one talked to them. That has changed, in fact we have improved dramatically in the past 25 years. There were 106 recommendations that came out of the Alpha, and all 106 recommendations are now in place.”
Suggesting further changes, Susan Mackenzie, head of energy division, Hazardous Installations Directorate – UK, recommends eliminating major hazard risks at the design phase. She said: “Engagement with contractors about the plant, equipment and services supplied must happen before beginning the activity. Because that point is ideal to eliminate some of the hazards rather than just control them.”

Role of leadership
Teresa Budworth, chief executive at Nebosh-UK, said: “I think leadership at every level of an organisation but particularly at the very top is absolutely very essential to achieving good health, safety and environmental performance. However, it is not the only factor, it is important to have competent health and safety advisors in a company. It is also essential to engage with the workforce, and developing leaders in health and safety and sustainability within many levels of the organisation. “Speaking as a leader of an organisation; as a leader you set the agenda. And to a large extent you set the values to an organisation. If you make health and safety a core value, it tends to permeate through to the whole organisation.”

Oil and gas industry
“One of the great things in the oil and gas industry is its global and mature,” said Les Linklater, team leader at the Step Change in Safety – UK. “And we have learnt where we have got control.” “Commitment should be to learn those lessons and apply them every day. Demonstrate it is a good industry to work in and that we are capable of learning. “We are putting people at risk in a hazardous environment and as long as we are having accidents and fatalities, there is more to do. We need to look at the learning lessons, for example even the lessons learnt from Alpha 25 years ago are still relevant today,” he added.
Conferences play a major role in presenting learning lessons. Linklater said: “Society expects us to look after the people, and that is an absolute clear societal expectation. So when we are here at these conferences we need to use our time really well to listen to what’s happening in the world. Nobody has the absolute perfect solution in the world. Whether it is the US, UK, India or Australia, we have to come together to listen to each other. Because what we might find working well in one place, might work well or even better in another place. “Then we can take these lessons and implement them in our own organisations. We need to know we are in it together, it’s a global industry, and safety actually drives the industry forward. Good safety is good business.”

Posted in Analysis, News, Oil and GasComments (0)

Current Issue October 2013