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Martek Wins H2S Gas Detection Contract from Canadian Navy

Posted on 19th October 2009

Martek Marine has signed a breakthrough contract with the Canadian Navy. The deal will see Martek supply 12 MM2000 marine gas detection systems, with Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) capability, to the Canadian Navy’s fleet of Halifax-class multi-role patrol frigates based in Victoria, British Columbia, and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

This is the first contract that Martek, one of the leading manufacturers of marine safety and environmental monitoring systems, has secured with the Canadian Navy and the H2S monitoring technology will be fitted on the Halifax-class ships while they are in port over the next 12 months.

Steve Coulson, Business Development Director, Martek Marine, said, “This is an important order for us as it demonstrates the adaptability of the MM2000 system to detect different gases, and its suitability for use on different types of vessels operating in varied, and sometimes extreme environments. The system has been tested for work in ultra-low temperature environments similar to those found in northern Canada during winter, and has been certified to operate without any problems in temperatures down to -55oC.”

The contract was awarded by Canada’s Department of National Defence, as a result of Martek’s ability to satisfy a number of demanding technical and commercial criteria. This included long term stability, ease of maintenance, mean time between failure (MTBF) performance, and the costs of the systems and their installation.

The MM2000 H2S gas detector systems, incorporating five detector heads per ship, will be fitted onboard in several shipboard spaces, but in particular close to the vessels’ sewage treatment plants. H2S can be deadly to mariners in high concentrations and the MM2000 will go into a warning condition, alerting the ships’ control centre, when levels reach 10ppm and will go into a danger condition when the concentration reaches 50ppm. Both audible and visual, strobe light alarms will be activated when the H2S concentrations reach warning or danger levels. The system adaptable to add up to 32 addressable detectors heads for a variety of gases such as: oxygen deficiency; flammable gases; refrigerant vapours and other toxic gases.

Naval ships tend to have much larger crews than merchant vessels of a similar size and so the sewage treatment facilities are also much bigger. “The danger of H2S gas escaping from sewage plants is very real and naval craft need to protect their crews from this risk,” adds Mr Coulson. “There have been fatalities on vessels operated by some navies world-wide and the Canadian forces are responding proactively to this potential hazard.”

The MM2000 is an addressable gas detection system that comprises a small compact control panel with an LC display and alarm, together with fault LEDs mounted in a steel stove enamel enclosure. From this control panel gas detectors are installed on a single 4-core addressable loop cable. To date the system has been installed on over 200 tankers, to protect crews against H2S from sulphur rich crude oil, and patrol vessels for the Sultanate of Oman navy.

Martek staff supported by certified engineers will carry out the commissioning of the MM2000 hardware onboard the 12 Canadian Navy vessels over the coming year. In addition, Martek will be supplying a full spare parts and technical support package for the equipment.