The last presentation of the 17/18 season was a joint meeting with NACE UK, and Francois Lirola of Saipem, gave a very interesting talk entitled, “Fusion Bonded Joint: an innovative technology for cost effective plastic pipe installed in J&S lay”.

In deepwater, corrosion protection of flowlines is becoming a major issue. Conventional corrosion allowance of carbon steel flowlines, or cladding, leads to excessive procurement costs, installation weight, welding and NDT challenges. Francois introduced an interesting alternative to achieve an acceptable corrosion protection – is the use of plastic liners. However, plastic lining has been mostly limited up to now to reel lay. SAIPEM has developed and patented an innovative and cost effective field-joint system, the Fusion Bonded Joint (FBJ), which can maintain the corrosion barrier across girth weld locations along the flowline. It has minimal impact on the offshore laying rate and it is based on field proven technologies and methods that are commonly employed in gas transportation networks. The design and fabrication of the FBJ system were explained, and the results of the extensive qualification that has been carried out, were shown.

This excellent presentation led to a high level of discussion by the audience, and the chairman thanked Francois for the time taken in preparing this talk and for coming to London to deliver it.