Deusdedit Kiheka

Deusdedit Kiheka


Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC)


SESSION 30:  Natural Gas Pipeline Operations, Maintenance and Safety

The operation of Natural Gas Pipeline owned by TPDC started on September 2015, covering the onshore  Pipeline with the length of 547 Km from Mtwara to Dar es Salaam and 29 Kilometers offshore from Lindi to Kilwa with 36 and 24 inch pipe size diameter respectively. It consists of two gas receiving stations, 18 Block valve stations located along villages where the Pipeline crosses and 24/7 hours monitored via SCADA system. 

Natural Gas Pipeline operation and maintenance safety is set and followed TPDC installed both manual and automatic equipment and systems to secure staffs, infrastructure and public at large from gas leakage incidents and Pipeline rupture due to differential pressure. This includes installations of Gas leak detection systems, Safety valves, fire detection systems, cathodic protection, electrostatic charge removal and venting systems with the link of SCADA systems.

Safety valves are operated both automatic and manually, control Emergency line break sensors which sense when there is higher or lower than set pressure value i.e. 80 bars and 60 bars respectively. If there is a differential pressure in the systems the outlet valves close to safeguard from Pipeline rapture, destruction of electronics equipment’s like meter skid. 

The gas leakage detection system is installed in all gas monitoring stations. They are used to detect the concentration of Natural Gas leakage, and are linked with SCADA system which an operator can see in the computer when the concentration reach 20% and 50% of the sense value as low and high alarms respectively. Also potable gas detectors are used during gas infrastructure services and maintenance. 

To secure both 36 and 24 inch natural gas transportation pipeline from corrosion and rusting TPDC installed Cathode Protection systems with about 580 Test points which are tested in every three months to cover the whole pipeline of 547 km.

TPDC has also installed fire detection systems with heat and smoke sensors, they sense in case of change in heat or smoke and are linked with SCADA system operator who can observe easily in control room there is no need of physical presence. 

All these equipment are linked with the SCADA, in such a way that any abnormality is observed/ noticed by the operator in control room screens for fast response.

Apart from the installation of the advanced systems above, TPDC have some administrative measure to increase the pipeline safety which are provision of right safety gears to staffs, electrostatic charge removal before entering the process area, establishment and implementing HSE strong procedures.

TPDC have employed operation and maintenance staffs for smooth operation of pipeline infrastructures which include eight control room operators, two SCADA Engineers, Cathodic protection Engineer and two Health, Safety and Environmental officers with the responsibilities of making sure the safety issues are handled well.