Benefits of IECEx certification

First IECEx-AFSEC seminar for Ex sector in Africa

By Claire Marchand

IECEx (IEC System for Certification to Standards relating to Equipment for Use in Explosive Atmospheres) and AFSEC (African Electrotechnical Standardization Commission) are planning an international seminar that will take place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, on 28-30 November 2012. The event is organized in collaboration with several African organizations: AFREC (African Energy Commission of the African Union), UPDEA (Union of Producers, Transporters and Distributors of Electric Power in Africa), and CODINORM (the Côte d’Ivoire national standardization body) and in partnership with two Ivoirian electrical utilities: CIE (Compagnie Ivoirienne d’électricité) and CIPREL (Compagnie Ivoirienne de production d’électricité).

DSC_2963 The IECEx-AFSEC seminar will take place in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

Safety in Ex environments is a must

Observation of safe practices in hazardous areas is non-negotiable. When equipment is not installed, maintained, inspected or repaired by competent persons and according to strict Ex standards, the results can be devastating. What may be acceptable in non-explosive atmospheres can, in a different environment, lead directly to explosions that not only destroy property but can cost human lives or cause severe injuries.

More than oil and gas

The Ex sector encompasses more than just the most obvious oil and gas or petrochemical industries. The risk of fire or explosion exists in a variety of sectors, such as transportation – including aerospace – furniture manufacturing, automotive manufacturing and repair, pharmaceuticals, food processing, grain handling and storage, sugar refineries and coal mining.

Who should attend?

The event is for experts, senior staff and professionals from the electrical, oil and gas industry sectors in African countries who are involved in the standardization, manufacture, inspection, repair, exploitation, maintenance and overhaul of equipment as well as system evaluation and certification of personnel competence.

The seminar will provide a unique opportunity to learn about IECEx and the benefits of using the System.

A practical approach

The seminar agenda focuses on capacity building for African experts in the Ex sector and will include technical presentations and practical exercises.

Participants will learn to apply five IEC International Standards (see list below) that relate to the certification of electrical equipment and services in explosive atmospheres, as well as how to draft an evaluation report.

The technical presentations will deal with the daily problems participants face when using equipment in explosive atmospheres. They include issues around area classification, equipment installation and systems, inspection, repair and overhaul as well as evaluation of personnel skills.

Practical exercises will take place at the CIE and CIPREL facilities and will include site audits.

Networking opportunity

The seminar will be conducted by two IECEx experts, Peter Thurnherr and Thierry Houeix, who will share their experience and knowledge, answer questions and provide advice, information and background material.

The seminar is a great opportunity for African professionals to make contacts, network and learn from IEC experience in the entire global Ex field.

About the speakers

Thierry Houeix

Thierry Houeix is a Certification Officer at INERIS, the French National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks, and an expert in IEC TC 31: Equipment for explosive atmospheres. Houeix, an IECEx Lead Assessor, is also one of the founding member experts behind the IECEx CoPC (Certification of Personnel Competence) Scheme.

Peter Thurnherr

Peter Thurnherr has many years’ experience in the design and production of electrical apparatus for gas and dust explosive atmospheres. He heads up the Swiss company thuba Ltd., which has been manufacturing explosion-proof electrical apparatus since 1955. He is Chairman of the Swiss TC 31 mirror committee and a member of several IEC TC 31 working groups and maintenance teams.

Practical information

There will be two sessions, one in English and one in French, each of which will welcome 30 participants.

The sessions will be held at CIE and CIPREL sites.

For registration and more information on the event and venues, please go to:

IEC International Standards for explosive atmospheres

The seminar will focus on the following IEC International Standards:

  • IEC 60079-10-1Explosive atmospheres - Part 10-1: Classification of areas - Explosive gas atmospheres
  • IEC 60079-10-2Explosive atmospheres - Part 10-2: Classification of areas - Combustible dust atmospheres
  • IEC 60079-14Explosive atmospheres - Part 14: Electrical installations design, selection and erection
  • IEC 60079-17Explosive atmospheres - Part 17: Electrical installations inspection and maintenance
  • IEC 60079-19Explosive atmospheres - Part 19: Equipment repair, overhaul and reclamation
DSC_2963 The IECEx-AFSEC seminar will take place in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
The seminar will be held at one of the CIE power station operating 100 MW gas turbines... The seminar will be held at one of the CIE power station operating 100 MW gas turbines...
...and at a CIPREL site with 330 MW gas turbine installations ...and at a CIPREL site with 330 MW gas turbine installations