Completion of a $500,000 state-of-the-art training project for lique-fied natural gas funded by BP Global at Texas A&M University's Emergency Service Training Institute demonstrates BP's level of commitment to safety worldwide, said Les Bunte, ESTI's division director.
"The demand for LNG has obviously created more excitement in the market for the development of new LNG facilities," Bunte said. "BP is certainly to be saluted for their pioneer work."
Bunte's remarks came during ribbon cutting ceremonies marking the transfer of the project from BP to ESTI and the Texas Engineering Extension Service. Firefighters from the U.K., Australia, Trinidad, China and sites throughout the United State attending the annual Spring LNG training program were on hand for the ceremonies.
A plague commemorating the event states that ESTI's Brayton Fire Training Field in College Station, TX, is "the site of the world's most advanced LNG fireground provided to further the development of knowledge, research and skills training for emergency response teams, process personnel, design engineers and others from around the world in understanding the behavior and control mechanisms of LNG under fire and emergency conditions in production plants, terminals and marine installations."
The LNG project is a joint development sponsored by BP Group Technology and BP Global LNG BU in conjunction with TEEX, a member of the Texas A&M University System.
"I would say that this definitely underscores the commitment that BP has made to assuring the safe handling of LNG worldwide because many of our students come from all parts of the globe," Bunte said.
Bunte recognized representatives of manufacturers who donated fire protection equipment to the project, including Angus Fire, Ansul, Micropack, International Coatings, Knowsely, Honeywell Analytics, Detection and Measurement Systems and Resource Protection International.
Participating in the ribbon cutting were Dan McCoy, health, safety and environment manager at BP's Crown Landing in New Jersey; Robin Passmore, manager of health, safety and security for BP Global Energy and Richard Coates, retired group fire advisor for BP. Representing TEEX was associate director Arturo Alonzo.
Passmore said the LNG project was not about BP but about the LNG industry as a whole.
"We really saw what an important tool this project is to the LNG industry," Passmore said. "We all need to be well trained and conversant in every aspect and behavior of LNG. We need to be able to talk knowledgably about LNG."
Both Bunte and Passmore noted the importance of Coates' contribution.
"Richard is the fire advisor who introduced new technology at BP," Passmore said. "This is very much Richard's legacy."
Coates, who now serves as a consultant to BP on LNG training, complemented the ESTI staff for their work in making the LNG project possible.
"Les has a phenomenal team," Coates said. "They work all the hours that God sends."