According to a “Global Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)” report released in August 2020, the market value of United States LPG production at the time was estimated to be nearly $70 billion, which makes the commodity a pivotal player in the U.S. energy industry. As the production, transport and use of LPG continues to grow, this makes the main challenge within the LPG supply chain achieving and maintaining critical mass in terms of the speed with which LPG can be moved from the refinery to and through storage terminals and into the tanks of its end users.
LPG is a highly flammable substance that must be kept in its liquid state during transport to ensure proper delivery performance. No matter how it is transported, in its liquid form LPG constantly struggles to return to a gaseous state, meaning it can never be allowed to lose pressure and expand, which requires that the proper equipment and care be used in its handling and transfer.
Operators of LPG storage terminals are predominantly served by a network of railroads that are the linchpin in LPG transport from the refinery, and these terminals need to deploy loading arm systems that are compatible with the unique characteristics of LPG handling and transfer.
OPW, through its OPW Engineered Systems product brand, recognizes the critical need for reliability and safety in the transport of LPG and has developed numerous ways to communicate how its Loading Arms Systems are setting a new standard in railcar-based transport and transfer of LPG:
- White Paper: Describes the three OPW Engineered Systems top-loading arm styles that are recommended for use in LPG-transfer applications: “Bull Horn,” Single-Line Boom and “A” Frame Loader. All three styles can be customized to meet the specific needs of the storage terminal regarding parameters such as the overall design of the unloading area, the number of unloading positions, and whether or not safety breakaways and vapor-recovery valves are required. As a trusted designer, engineer and manufacturer of complete loading arm systems, OPW can also supply ancillary components for the loading arm system, including stabber-pipes, safety breakaways and ground-verification monitors.
- Success Story: This piece tells the story of how an LPG supplier in the Northeastern U.S. with a customer base of 20,000 turned to OPW to optimize the safety of its LPG-transfer processes. The foundation of the site is the series of “A” Frame Loaders that are utilized at the terminal’s LPG-unloading stations. The design of the “A” Frame loading arm is ergonomically friendly, which allows it to be stored in an upright position while crossover of any potential obstructions is easily achieved with very little physical strain on the operator. During unloading, the “A” Frame arm also adjusts to the railcar’s tilt or elevation, which ensures a tight, safe connection to the car’s angle valves.
Visit opwglobal.com to see how OPW Engineered Systems is “Defining What’s Next” in the design, engineering and operation of Loading Arm Systems for the transport and transfer of LPG while protecting people, the environment and enhancing business performance.