The Hri advantage

  • Case studies
  • 2
  • 3

Situation

At one of the largest refineries in California responsible for processing more than 265,000 barrels per day, the plant staff noticed that there was water and condensate dripping from a waste heat boiler in their plant. This was a sign of a greater problem and warranted further investigation. It was discovered that there was a small leak that threatened to cause the boiler to lose steam pressure. It was evident that an immediate repair would be necessary to protect the fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU). The FCCU is the most important part of a refinery. It takes high-temperature, high-molecular weight hydrocarbon fractions and converts them into more valuable products such as gasoline. An unplanned FCCU outage can take as long as 2-3 weeks and would result in significant commercial and environmental impacts for the owner.

Solution

In order to perform the repair and keep the FCCU operational, the boiler would need to be isolated from the waste heat. A significant issue facing the owner was the area where the leak was occurring was 1200 degrees Fahrenheit and under pressure of 2.5 psig. Repairing the boiler would require the installation of blinds on the boiler inlet and outlet to isolate the area.

Results

Because HRI was able to isolate the area allowing technicians to repair the leak without bringing the entire FCCU down, the owner was not forced to perform an unplanned shutdown. An unplanned FCCU outage of this type would have cost over $500,000 per day. By utilizing HRI’s expertise and innovative processes, the owner saved an estimated $10,500,000.

Situation

At a major refinery in California, a fracture had developed on the Fluidized Catalytic Cracking Unit regenerator line. The steel regenerator line operates internally at 1100 degrees Fahrenheit and is critical to the operation of the unit. A failure on the line would result in a complete shutdown of the FCCU. This would negatively impact production and possibly create an environmental issue because stopping and restarting a unit may cause a fluctuation in emissions which must be reported to environmental agencies.

Solution

HRI was contacted to analyze the fracture and develop a safe repair plan. The owner’s employees were consulted regarding the past history of the unit which uncovered a few notable stress deficiencies. These deficiencies were more than likely the root cause of the failure. The systems operate internally at 1100 degrees F and the conductive temperatures on the external line are approximately 600 degrees F. Using HRI’s patented heat-safe technology, our personnel were able to safely repair the line without interrupting their operations.

Results

HRI has many years of experience with repairs such as these and the hazards which need to be mitigated. Collaboration between HRI and the owner resulted in a comprehensive and safe repair plan. These plans enabled the work to be safely performed while the unit remained in operation. The repair included welding an eighteen inch enclosure over the failure which could then be cooled with steam and monitored with the use of thermocouplers built into the enclosure.

Shutting down the fluidized catalytic cracking unit would have caused financial losses to the owner worth over $10,000,000 USD and significant environmental concerns. HRI’s technology and expertise prevented both of those things from happening.

Situation

Cooling fans or “Fin Fans” are used throughout process units in refineries. The fans vary somewhat by design but serve the same purpose, heat transfer. The fans move cool air around tubes arranged in a configuration that resembles a radiator. These tubes contain various products including hydrogen. Energy efficiencies are affected as the fans malfunction and can create a situation whereby the operational capacity of the unit is compromised. Repairs cannot be facilitated safely as the operational temperatures may be as high as 400 degress F.

Solution

HRI was contacted to provide a safe alternative to repair the fans while in process. The need to repair or replace fin fans in operational units pose consider- able risks. These areas can be classified as permit required confined spaces and have elevated temperatures to over 400 degrees F. The temperatures can change very quickly with the wind direction, which also can expose unprotected crafts people.

HRI’s Heat Safet Technology, procedures, and trained technicians were dispatched to address the repairs. Induction fans and forced draft fans equally had issues in multiple units. The repair scope included complete fan replacement to bearings and / or blades.

Results

HRI technicians routinely conduct repairs at elevated temperatures in areas that may, or may not be permit required confined spaces. The temperatures during these repairs ranged from 150 degrees F to 380 degrees F. Six force draft fans and three induction fans were repaired in multiple units. The fan blades were pitched at operational temperature to optimize efficiencies.

Chevron was able to be proactive in maintaining operational excellence and equip- ment reliablitity without compromising safety.

Name
Email
Company

Message

contact