Industrial Fire Protection

The World’s Top Liquefied Natural Gas Exporters

The World’s Top Liquefied Natural Gas Exporters.jpg

Natural gas is one of the most popular energy sources at the moment.  It is environmentally friendly and inexpensive.  To transport natural gas, it is converted to its liquefied form, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

While the entire world is using natural gas, where is it all coming from?  Here are the top 8 exporters of LNG found around the world.

1.     Qatar

Qatar sits on the largest natural gas reserves on the planet.  The city is tiny, with only 300,000 residents.  Its economy relies heavily on immigrants to run their natural gas led economy.  At this point 90% of their workforce are Expats.

2.     Australia

Despite South Australia’s energy crisis, Australia has a substantial offshore natural gas reserve.  Australia has doubled their LNG output since 2004.

3.     Malaysia

Malaysia exported 10% of the global supply of natural gas.  For three decades, Malaysia and Thailand have worked together on LNG assets and share the profits.

4.     Nigeria

Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy, exporting 7.2% of the world’s LNG. 

5.     Indonesia


Indonesia is better known as a vacation destination than a natural gas hub, but it exported 6.4% of the world’s LNG.

Liquefied Natural Gas is a hot topic, and LNG facilities are becoming more and more popular.  They also need to be protected from fire.  Learn more about fire protection needs of LNG facilities here.

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10 Refineries Close in TX, Hurricane Harvey Hurts Energy Hub

10 Refineries Close in TX, Hurricane Harvey Hurts Energy Hub.jpg

If you're interested in donating to Hurricane Harvey relief, here is a link to Global Giving.  All funds given using this link will go directly to serving Hurricane Harvey victims.

Gulf Coast, TX -- Hurricane Harvey (now downgraded to a tropical storm), is hurting the Gulf Coast energy hub as major refineries are forced to close.

At this point, ten oil refinery plants have closed in Houston and Corpus Christi.  When weather is normal, these refineries refine 2 million barrels of oil a day, on average.  The S&P estimated that approximately 2.2 million barrels per day of oil capacity were offline due to the tropical storm.

The Gulf Coast is home to 1/3 of the country's capacity to turn oil into gas, diesel , and other products.  F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems has a Gulf Coast office that serves this sector in La Porte, TX. 

Last Friday, Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a Category 4.  By mid-Saturday, it was down-graded to a tropical storm.  While it was downgraded to a tropical storm, it continued to impact Texas.  Houston, TX saw severe flooding with ten-feet of water in some parts.

On Sunday, 105 workers from oil and gas production platforms were evacuated.  About 22% of the oil produced in the Gulf was shut down that day.  

The last hurricane to negatively impact the oil industry was Hurricane Gustav in 2008.

You can read more about Hurricane Harvey's effect on the oil and gas industry at CNN Money.

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Case Study - Chemical Plant Cooling Tower

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F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems had been providing fire protection solutions for a number of years at a cutting-edge silicon chemical plant. The facility recently discovered that the fire protection system in the cooling tower needed replacement. In a week's time, the piping was removed and replaced during an outage, providing the plant with the protection they needed to keep their facility safe.

A Solid Track Record of Providing Robust Protection for the Plant's High-Risk Hazards

As chemical processing continues to develop, the facilities in which products are manufactured must progress as well. One of the leading silicon chemical plants in the solar power industry has relied on F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems over the years for effective fire protection solutions for their developing plant. Their systems and services have proven to effectively protect the plant's valuable assets from the high-risk hazards that exist within the environment. As several phases of expansion have taken place, F. E. Moran Special Hazard Systems has designed and installed detection and suppression systems for areas such as vessels, distillation and hot oil areas, pipe racks, superheaters and silane loading areas.

F.E. Moran's Experience Enables Them to Uncover Issues Before They Escalate Into Big Problems

While doing maintenance work within their cooling tower, the plant had discovered an air leak on the pilot line of the fire protection system and asked F.E. Moran to repair it. It was discovered that corrosion at the joint of the pilot line had caused the leak, which led F.E. Moran to suggest inspecting the water piping. Experience told F.E. Moran that if the pilot line had sustained corrosion from the harsh environment, the water piping was probably in need of maintenance as well. F.E. Moran's speculation proved to be accurate and the plant's commitment to safety led them to make the decision to replace all of the piping in the cooling tower. The facility could recognize the expertise and precision of F. E. Moran's work over the four years that they had performed services at the plant, which made it an easy decision for them to select F. E. Moran as the contractor to perform the replacement.


Flexibility, Knowledge and a Vast Network of Resources

The time frame within which F. E. Moran was given to finish the project presented a challenge that required tapping into their extensive network of resources. Fire protection equipment utilized in cooling towers, such as the specialized nozzles, are typically made to order. F. E. Moran called upon a dependable and efficient fabricator they had worked with in the past to supply the pipe so that the project could be completed within the scheduled outage. Part of the F. E. Moran crew arrived a couple of days before the start date of the project to receive the materials and tools and prepare for the project so that they could begin work as soon as the facility could allow them access to the tower.

Another obstacle that F. E. Moran faced involved the design input referenced for pre-ordering and fabricating the materials used in the system. Some of the older drawings that were used as "as-builts" for the project required amending, which required experience and flexibility to make the necessary adjustments in the field while still meeting the target date.

F. E. Moran installed Schedule 40 galvanized pipe to constitute the new deluge system, which is designed to withstand severe elements to a higher degree than standard pipe. Additionally, F.E. Moran installed stainless steel nozzles for a higher degree of corrosion resistance. Another measure they took to counter the high rate of corrosion was the utilization of stainless steel hangers, which are even more durable than the galvanized hangers that previously supported the system.

Efficient Project Management and Effective Labor Allows F.E. Moran to Complete Projects in Remarkable Time

As a highly productive chemical plant, they aimed to minimize the down time of any part of its facility. They had given F.E. Moran one week to complete the work during the scheduled outage and any delays in the completion of the project would have resulted in losses for the facility. On Monday, July 11th, F.E. Moran began the onsite work at the plant, with a deadline of Monday, July 18th for the tower to resume operation. F.E. Moran worked efficiently and skillfully and put in the necessary overtime hours so that on Saturday the 16th the system had been fully installed and the pipe had been hydrostatically tested to ensure optimal operation, making the project fully complete with time to spare. The Emergency Response Coordinator for the facility says "F.E. Moran's Project Management team is very professional, experienced and helpful in making sure a quality project that meets the customer's needs is completed." Of the work completed by F.E. Moran, he says: "I would recommend and use F.E. Moran for future projects that I have, they have the ability to complete large and small projects within a short duration."

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Case Study - LNG Import Facility

LNG fire protection

Contributor:  Paul Felch,  Project Manager of F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems
Writer:  Sarah Block, Marketing Director of The Moran Group

What started as a fairly standard project, turned complex when Mother Nature turned on it. F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems used their expertise, resources, and perpetual objective for customer satisfaction to skillfully complete a project despite continuous adversity.

One of the Nation's Largest Liquefied Natural Gas Import Facilities

Located on the Chesapeake Bay in Lusby, Maryland, this Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import facility connects to one gas pipeline and two gas transmissions to provide 1.8 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of LNG a day, making this facility the largest LNG importer in the country. One Bcf alone is capable of supplying 3.4 million homes with energy. As an LNG import facility supplying energy to millions of homes a day, a fire could be catastrophic.

Protecting People, Plant, and Production

This LNG import facility understands the importance of preeminent fire protection. To prevent any fire protection risk, the plant chose to find a solution to reduce the odds of an underground fire main leak in the aging fire main piping at the first stage pumps and cold blower buildings. These structures are an integral part of operating five of seven LNG tanks. An underground leak in that area would risk the LNG lines and impair fire protection. It was prudent to find a fire protection solution provider with expertise in high risk environments.

The Need for Paramount Fire Protection

Recognizing the need for paramount fire protection, the LNG import facility chose F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems to provide solutions to their fire protection needs. To guarantee successful fire protection at the first stage pumps and cold blower buildings, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems redirected the existing underground fire water mains, which included divorcing and capping existing mains and providing one new hydrant and water monitor. Additionally, they replaced two aging deluge valves and converted the dry pilot deluge detection system into a linear heat detection system. The facility required welded pipes, as opposed to the typical industry standard use of PVC-based piping, and, to ensure quality control, x-rayed each weld.

Complete Project Despite Unusual Events

With a working facility, production is at risk during a fire protection solution installation. It was imperative to keep installation time to a minimum. Paul Felch, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems Project Manager said, "We had to get the system back up and running ASAP so the customer was fully protected." F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems ably completed the project, despite the unusual circumstances.

The nature of an underground installation is innately more involved than standard installations. An excavation contractor needed to be hired to dig trenches for the underground installation. Whenever a project has an underground component, there are always unforeseen obstacles that arise. Upon excavation, it was noted that on-site customization was needed. This was the first of several unexpected issues that would take place during the project.


It could not have been predicted that following the excavation, three natural disasters would follow. To begin, on August 12, 2011, torrential rains pounded Maryland, with some areas getting as much as 6 inches of rain in one day, caving in the trenches. Following the downpour, on August 23, 2011, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit the east coast and Mid-Atlantic regions. It was tied as the highest magnitude earthquake east of the Rocky Mountains. Only a few days later, on August 27, 2011, Hurricane Irene struck, grossing the highest damage costs, $7 billion, on record and taking the lives of 56 people.

F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems Finds Solutions in Extenuating Circumstances

The unusual circumstances of this project were unforeseen, but with thirty years of experience, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems took each problem in stride and completed the project.

F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems first had to resolve the obstacles that were found underground. They cut 10" pipe runs to miss the various underground obstacles that were encountered, quickly resolving the issue.

Underground hindrances were minor issues compared to the three natural disasters that plagued the project. The first, a torrential downpour, caved in the trenches for the underground installation. F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems had to re-dig the trenches, adding reinforced walls, keeping safety as a priority.

Only eleven days later, an earthquake hit Maryland followed four days later by Hurricane Irene. F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems personnel camped out, waiting to resume the project, resulting in only a short suspension of installation.

Despite the surge of barriers F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems faced throughout the project, they completed the project and delivered an impeccable result. Due to F.E. Moran Special Hazard System's perseverance, expertise, and professionalism, the LNG import facility now has a solution to their fire protection needs.

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Case Study - Fertilizer Plant

fertilizer plant fire protection

Written By:  Sarah Block, Director of Marketing & Education

When a nitrogen fertilizer plant experienced an explosion in an unprotected area of their plant, they quickly called F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems to remedy the issue and keep their plant safe.


Illinois Fertilizer Plant Explosion


A nitrogen fertilizer plant in East Dubuque, IL is a primary producer of nitrogen fertilizer in the heart of the Midwest. They have been producing nitrogen fertilizer since 1965, providing low cost, environmentally conscious product.

When an explosion rocked the plant only two weeks before Christmas, they called F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems to get the plant back in working condition. Before Christmas, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems accomplished that.



Christmas Deadline Creates Challenge


In early December, a gas leak in a 6-story vessel caused a major explosion. It was a wake-up call for the company. Wanting to prevent any future incidents, they called F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems to install a deluge fire sprinkler system around the vessel.

F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems designs and installs deluge systems often, but this time the obstacle arose to begin and end the project within two weeks. A nitrogen fertilizer plant needed the project to be wrapped up before Christmas, creating a challenge that F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems was excited to take on.


Tight Timeline, Quick Turnaround


F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems knew they had a tight timeline to maintain; Christmas was only a few weeks away. The nitrogen fertilizer plant requested a quote and by December 13, 2013, they provided it. The plant approved it and December 16, 2013, the PO was sent. The design began December 16, 2013 and was turned over December 18, 2013. The material was ordered the same day and installation began. The plant was mobilized December 20, 2013 and by December 23, 2013 the project was completed.

F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems turned over the plant with two days to spare. Project Manager Mike Warmington said, "We had a Christmas deadline to complete a package design, materials, and labor. We dropped everything to meet their schedule, and managed to finish in seven days, getting everyone home for the holiday."

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One of the Largest Refineries in U.S. Gets Fire Protection Makeover

refinery fire protection

A large oil refinery in the Midwest needed to get their fire protection in check, so they called F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems (SHS). When SHS showed up, they found that the fire protection systems hadn't been maintained in years and several were out of service. SHS has worked with them for 3 years to bring their fire protection up-to-date. Each year SHS has managed to reduce the dollars spent.

Midwest Refinery Powers Millions of Cars a Day

This project is one of the largest oil refineries in the country. It produces almost a half million barrels of oil a day - enough to fuel millions of cars

 each day. This facility determined that they needed fire protection maintenance for their 1,400-acre complex. When F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems arrived, they realized this was no small service job. Two years later, this refinery's fire protection system is close to the top of its game and it continues to get stronger each year.

Over 2,000 Devices to Inspect and Test

F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems was brought in to inspect and service the refinery's fire protection systems. However, upon inspection, SHS realized that the systems hadn't been maintained in years. Not only that, but the facility had a large quantity of systems that needed repaired or replaced. They had 107 fire alarm panels, 22 VESDA's, 30 inert gas suppression systems, 850 gas detectors, 40 manual foam systems, 52 deluge systems, 10 wet systems, 1 dry system, 11 fire pumps, 659 fire hydrants, and 225 monitors on site.


Preventative Maintenance Saves Millions

F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems began working with the refinery in 2014. Many of the systems were out of order. They repaired the systems they could and replaced the systems that couldn't be fixed. In all, they have repaired 86 fire hydrants and replaced 11 dry valves, 2 fire alarm panels, among numerous other repairs and upgrades to their fire systems. Once the systems were up and running, SHS began a preventative maintenance program to ensure that their systems were ready in the event of a fire.

The results of the project were better than expected. From 2014 to 2016, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems was able to reduce the refinery's fire protection maintenance costs by over 150% by repairing, inspecting and maintaining the fire protection systems. The project manager for the job said, "Although we have done significant repairs and upgrades to [the refinery's] fire systems, we still have a lot of work to do and look forward to being their preferred fire protection contractor for years to come."

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Storing Flammable Liquids: How to Make the Complexities of NFPA 30 Simple

flammable liquid

Contributor: Andy Aleksich, Senior Designer of F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems
Writer:  Sarah Block, Marketing Director of The Moran Group

On November 22, 2006, a malevolent explosion turned the town of Danvers, MA upside down. The explosion started in a chemical manufacturing plant, destroying it. The subsequent fires had far-reaching effects; it destroyed twenty-four homes, six business, and dozens of boats at a nearby marina. At least ten residents were hospitalized as a direct result of the explosion, and over 300 residents in the nearby neighborhood were evacuated. This disaster spurred the residents of Danvers, MA to establish community groups' Safe Area for Everyone (SAFE) and re-established the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) determined that the explosion was fueled by escaped vapor from a 2,000-gallon tank of highly flammable liquid. The ensuing fire blazed for seventeen hours.

It was discovered that although it is required for chemical plants that store flammable liquid to be inspected every year by the local fire department, the Danvers plant had not been inspected for four years. Additionally, the facility was not storing the flammable liquid in compliance with OSHA, Massachusetts fire code, or NFPA requirements. However, because the Massachusetts fire code does not require the application of NFPA 30 retroactively, the plant was not directly non-compliant. The chemical plant had a foam/water fire sprinkler system. This type of system is meant to work in conjunction with a fire alarm box that contacts the fire department. However, the chemical plant did not have a fire alarm box, so the fire department was not notified, allowing the conflagration to continue for seventeen hours. The CSB recommended the city of Danvers adapt the NFPA 30 code. Had they taken the advice, the chemical plant would have been in direct violation. They are not the only ones. Everyday facilities are cited for violating this code. Why are NFPA 30 violations so prevalent?


Insurance Underwriters are Focusing on NFPA 30

Currently, insurance underwriters are paying close attention to NFPA 30, Flammable and Combustible Liquids. In recent years, many plants have received written recommendations by risk management audits to revise the way flammable liquids and chemicals are being stored. Plants have the difficult task of combining the requirements from the NFPA, local authorities, and insurers into one fire protection solution. In some cases, one authority has precedence over another in one aspect of fire protection, but not all. For example, if a fire protection solution has been designed, developed, and tested by an approved testing facility, but does not meet NFPA requirement, if the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) approves, it becomes compliant with NFPA. The complexity of NFPA 30 often results in unintentional non-compliancy.

NFPA 30 is Complex

To give this code perspective, we will compare it to NFPA 13, The Standard for Installation of Sprinkler Systems. NFPA 13 is a code used for every type of Fire Sprinkler System solution.
In this code, there are 26 chapters. In NFPA 30, which has a much smaller population of users, there are 29 chapters, 14 annexes, 1 chart, and 1 form.

To determine each fire protection need, according to NFPA 30, facilities must answer a series of questions before coming to a conclusion. For example, to find out how high a facility can store flammable liquids in vertical stacks, facilities must research and answer the following questions:

1. Is it a liquid (fluidity, viscosity, water-miscible)?
2. What type of liquid is it (flammable, combustible, flash points, boiling points, etc)?
3. What is the liquid classification (IA, IB, II, III, IIIA, IIIB)?
4. What type of occupancy is the liquid stored in (healthcare facility, industrial, processing plant, liquid storage warehouse, etc)?
5. What type of container is the liquid stored in (drums, portable tanks, relieving, non-relieving, immediate bulk containers, etc)?
6. Is there an automatic sprinkler system protecting the space (design flow rate, density, foam/water, etc)?
7. What is the container arrangement (palletized, rack, maximum allowable quantity, etc)?

For each different liquid storage fire protection solution - sprinklers, detection, and a wide-array of physical storage requirements - several questions must be researched and answered. This can be extremely burdensome for facility staff with a variety of responsibilities.


With a combination of fire protection professionals and NFPA 30 provided charts and forms, it is possible to apply this extremely complicated code. If a facility chooses to take on this task independently, it is recommended to utilize figures 16.4.1(a), 16.4.1(b), and 16.4.1(c) (see below) from NFPA 30 to determine the correct section of chapter 16 to apply to the facility's fire protection solution.


However, even with the use of charts, many sections of the code have numerous exceptions and refer to the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) as the point of reference.

It is advised that facilities do not attempt to apply the complicated NFPA 30 code on their own. Hire a fire protection solution provider that has a relationship with the AHJ and underwriters who can provide their expertise to ensure code compliancy. With the help of one simple seven question form (see below) and a fire protection solution provider, facilities can feel certain their buildings are code compliant.

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