China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) has launched the home-developed submarine pipeline Magnetic Flux Leakage (MFL) detector recently. The snake-shaped device is a significant technical breakthrough that ends foreign companies’ monopoly on the submarine pipeline inspection in China.
After over 20 years’ research and tests, CASIC successfully applied the high-precision magnetic flux leakage technology to detect the flaws and corrosion on the interior and exterior pipelines under the sea.
Before the self-developed detector was launched, the submarine pipeline inspection in China is a most profitable business that had been monopolized by several transnational corporations from the United States and Germany. Their listed price for every kilometer’s pipeline inspection is as high as 60,000 yuan (over $9,000). Considering that China owns nearly 80,000 kilometers submarine pipelines, the profit that comes along with the monopoly is indeed stunning.
Besides, relying heavily on foreign companies’ pipeline inspection may expose confidential information of the submarine pipeline operation and seabed geology in China that concerns the national safety.
After applying the self-developed detector, China will reduce its submarine pipeline inspection cost by 30% to 50%, and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) will save at least 80 million yuan (over $12 million) per year alone, a CNOOC official said. The concern over intelligence leakage will also be lifted.