Neste's Porvoo refinery in Kilpilahti deals with hazardous substances. Safety regulations are strict, but still gas leaks can occur and fires can ignite. Modern alarm and alert systems then warn thousands of workers in every square of the plant consisting of 13 square kilometers.
Fire station on duty day and night
The info board at the main gate of the Kilpilahti industrial area tells us that the previous accident happened 13 days ago. “It was slipping, like most of the accidents here,” says Esko Koho, Property Manager at Neste's Porvoo refinery.
He drives us around the vast refinery area, one of the most modern in Europe. In addition to the oil refinery, there is a power plant, a harbor, a railway terminal, a technology center, a fire station, a petrochemical plant and the Borealis plastic factory.
“Occupational safety is a priority in a place like this and we pay special attention to it. If something happens, everyone in the area has to hear the alarm and instructions quickly over the loud noise ”says Koho.
Benefits through cooperation
When the Porvoo refinery voice evacuation system both inside of the building and outdoor areas was renewed, Elektro-Arola and Audico Systems delivered the equipment. Audico Systems supplied the Audico Avec G2 voice evacuation systems installed in various buildings in the area. Elektro-Arola was responsible for GUI control system and outdoor voice evacuation systems with high power horn speaker clusters, which were placed in high places such as masts and roofs of buildings. Elektro-Arola was also responsible for the VORO software solution, where both indoor and outdoor systems are managed with a common user interface. The digital system uses the Kilpilahti IP security network as its communication link.
“Collaboration proved its strength in this project. The two Finnish companies were able to jointly provide the customer with an overall solution, that also required new product development. Separately we might not have been the strongest in such a demanding project, ”says Kalle Arola, CEO of Elektro-Arola.
In the middle of the area there is a fire station where work is done around the clock. Teemu Hämäläinen runs a voice evacuation system test every Monday at noon from the central control room to make sure the system works. The siren can be heard over the entire industrial area and, depending on the direction of the wind, often also in the area around Porvoo and Sipoo.
The refinery fire brigade has 45 employees. They had 460 tasks last year. Of these, 367 were urgent, with an ambulance and two firefighting vehicles rushing to the location.
Urgent tasks include, for example, automatic fire alarms, fires, fires, and first response and backup tasks. The fire brigade equipments include robust clearing and oil recovery equipment as well as truck-mounted high-performance pumps that produce 20,000 liters of water per minute. If necessary, the refinery's fire department receives assistance from the fire brigades in Porvoo and neighboring areas.
Are Oy takes is in charge of the maintanance of the properties at the refinery. System specialist Jorma Huttunen from Are says that the area is almost in constant change. Old properties are being renovated or dismantled and a new ones are being built. As a result, alarm systems are also expanded and upgraded.
“Modern voice evacuation systems have gone a long way from buzzers and bells. A clear step forward for safety is the diagnostics of the new system. It tells you if the alarm doesn't go somewhere and if the hardware needs maintenance, ”says Huttunen. According to Teemu Hämäläinen, speed and punctuality in an emergency situation is increased by the fact that the supervisor is able to control the alarm or alert only to a specific destination. This is important because not all alerts apply to the entire area. Today, alerts are also related to spoken instructions that tell people exactly how to act at any given time.