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Safe Life Extension management of aged infrastructures networks and industrial plants

Final Report Summary - SAFELIFE-X (Safe Life Extension management of aged infrastructures networks and industrial plants)

The transport infrastructures such as roads, railroads, tunnels and bridges form the arteries suppling the European region with vital goods produced by its industrial facilities. Dams, pipeline networks, and gas and electricity plants and grids provide the energy to produce all those goods and to light and heat the buildings where the service sector makes its contribution to a thriving European society. All of these infrastructures are ageing, yet called upon to operate beyond planned service lifetimes.
The project ( addressed the need to improve ageing management for these infrastructures, so that their availability is maximised and their management even more cost effective. With this goal in mind, the project has decisively contributed to the development of a new European EN Standard providing the aligned a RiskBased Inspection Framework (Work item WI 00319020 CEN TC 319, maintenance). This standard correspond to the US API580/581 and is of a crucial interest for the European industry. The basis for these activities is the CEN CWA 15740:2008/2011, was provided also in the EU context, in the FP6 project RIMAP. The final text of the new EN standard will be released in autumn 2015.
In addition, it has provided a basis for the more cost-effective solutions for handling the problem of ageing infrastructures and setting up a reference source within Asset Integrity Management, in which a catalogue of the good/best practices and the new solutions for the cost-benefit analysis are provided. The project strategic research agenda aims to clearly specifying the priorities and identifying the Research, Technology Development and Demonstration (RD&D) efforts required to achieve the goal of further improved, safe life extension process. This will significantly improve the European capacity to deal better, with challenges posed to the maintenance and management of aging infrastructures, networks and plants in a globalized context.

Infrastructures are vital elements of our economical activities since they provide the bones and the arteries of the creation of added value in the whole value chain.

In SafeLife-X project context, infrastructures are defined as follows:

- Transport infrastructures, such as roads, railways, tunnels, bridges, car parks…,
- Industrial facilities such as plants, installations, dams, pipeline networks and gas & electricity grid.

Europe’s, infrastructures, networks and industrial plants are aging. In many cases utilization beyond the design life is essential to keep the various utility systems and with them the European system of systems, functional. Besides that a demand for better asset management within the various European industrial sectors is obvious to satisfy the Grand Challenges (sustainability, energy consumption, environment, employment and social cohesion). The unbalance between societal and political concerns and the resistance against major infrastructure development projects has to be closed by safe extension of lifetime of Europe’s existing industrial assets and networks.