Sophisticated alarms and multiple back-up safety systems, which include emergency shutdown (ESD) systems, are core components of the Energía Costa Azul LNG facility. ESD systems can identify problems and shut down operations, limiting the amount of LNG that could be released. These systems are linked to automatic gas, liquid and fire detection equipment.
There are also detectors for monitoring LNG levels and vapor pressures within storage tanks and closed-circuit television equipment for monitoring all critical locations of the LNG facility.
The storage tanks at Energía Costa Azul were constructed according to the regulatory requirements in Mexico, which are similar to those in the U.S. and some even more stringent.
The tanks were constructed using a full-containment, engineering design that provides two levels of safety protection. Within the full-containment storage tank, LNG is housed in a climate-controlled container, with extremely efficient insulation, that is analogous to a thermos bottle.
The climate-controlled container is encased inside a second container comprised of pre-stressed concrete.
The full-containment tanks have double walls — an inner wall of 9 percent nickel steel surrounded by a wall of concrete, three feet thick. Should the inner steel wall fail, the outer concrete tanks would contain the LNG.
Industry and government standards set specifications for, among other things, concrete and steel used in construction, valves, pumps, tanks, compressors, refrigeration piping, tank insulation, fire-fighting equipment and protection against seismic activity.