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African Petrochemicals is South Africa’s leading quarterly print and digital trade magazine for the past 16 years. Featuring all the latest petrochemical industry news, special reports, technological advances and much more.

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MineARC Systems: Providing Life-Support Solutions to the Petrochemical Industry

It is not uncommon to find shelter-in-place or safe haven locations designated within chemical facilities across the globe. What varies is the level of protection. Functionality can range from merely a muster point (shelter-in-place) to an external positively pressurized room (safe haven).

MineARC has been providing ChemSAFE Safe Haven and Shelter-in-Place solutions to the petrochemical, refining and power generation industries for almost 10 years. Understanding that emergency response requirements differ greatly between sites depending on their processing conditions, the location of personnel and dangerous goods inventory, MineARC has a team of experienced engineers and industry professionals to assist in the consultation and design process; resulting in a safe haven solution to best suit each individual petrochemical facility.


MineARC’s ChemSAFE solutions offer a safe and secure ‘go-to’ area for multiple personnel in the event of a toxic chemical release, fire, explosion or other hazardous emergency response scenarios. The range includes fully transportable Safe Havens as well as ‘Shelter-in-Place’ Room Conversions with purpose-built life support systems.

ChemSAFE Safe Havens provide a unique and cost-effective alternative to shelter-in-place; allowing flexibility as site requirements shift over time. MineARC’s Safe Havens are meticulously engineered to ensure complete protection from the outside environment, including a robust shell with up to 12psi blast rating, a fully pressurised vestibule and 0% ACH (External Air Change per Hour). The ChemSAFE Safe Haven boasts a range of unique life-support features that have been engineered specifically for sustaining life in an enclosed environment. Systems include; a proprietary CO/CO2 ‘scrubbing’ system with digital control and voice prompts, breathable oxygen supply, air conditioning, an advanced digital gas monitoring system, and UPS battery backup. Select safe havens also feature the GuardIAN Remote Monitoring and Diagnostics System; allowing shelters to be monitored and observed from anywhere within the facility or even off-site.

Alternatively, MineARC’s ChemSAFE Shelter-in-Place Rooms Conversions are intended for petrochemical facilities that wish to use an existing room, or do not have the physical space for a portable Safe Haven. These modular constructed rooms are designed to have minimal Air Changes per Hour (ACH). By incorporating a range of MineARC’s life support systems such as the AirGEN, AirBANK and AirMAX, facilities can be confident that occupants will remain safe for the entire duration of the emergency.

In the case of conducting a Shelter-in-Place Room Conversion, MineARC petrochemical industry specialists work closely with each site to develop a turnkey solution that suits their requirements. The process starts with a site assessment to determine the suitability of any shelter-in-place location for conversion. This may also include a blower door or tracer gas test to generate a baseline for the room’s leakage and ultimately its potential infiltration concentration rate.

Conventional manual sealing of the room is then undertaken and generally includes the installation of a clean room-style roof and lighting. The removal of windows and installation of purpose-designed doors and/or door sweeps provide further air-tightness. This type of conventional sealing can improve

the tightness of a typical room by at least twofold.

If further sealing is necessary, aerosol-based envelope sealing has been used effectively to seal orifices that cannot be sealed by manual means. One of MineARC’s clients has shown this type of sealing to improve the air-tightness of its safe haven rooms by up to 90 percent. A final post-sealing

blower door or tracer gas test is then needed to determine the safe haven’s final leakage rate. Infiltration concentration rates are once again calculated by MineARC engineers.

With manufacturing facilities in South Africa, Australia and North America, MineARC Systems provides safe haven equipment to Nutrien, INVISTA, Chemours, Duke Energy, BP Castrol, IOWA Fertilizer, Yara, PetroChina, Vopak and many other global petrochemical customers.

For more information contact our South African office on +27 (0) 11 796-5162, or visit www.minearc.com.


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