International Oil & Gas Company

International Oil and Gas Company Crude Distillation Unit Modernization Piping and Equipment Coating And Fireproofing

An international oil and gas company invested approximately $3.8 billion to modernize its refinery in northwest Indiana to increase heavy oil processing capability and upgrade environmental performance.
The project included reconfiguring the largest of three crude distillation units and adding new coking capacity and associated processing units. The refinery upgrade was the largest privately funded construction project in North America to date, with the crude distillation unit the most complex and difficult to execute phase.

Challenge
Brock Industrial Services was contracted to coat and fireproof the facility’s largest crude distillation unit. This included painting 250,000 linear feet of piping; touching up 1.5 million square feet of structural steel, the crude heater and vacuum heater (each among the largest in the industry), 54 exchangers,
50 pumps and four towers; and fireproofing 125,000 square feet of connection points, 48 exchanger saddles and the vessel skirts of three towers.

Solution
Once on site, Brock Industrial was concerned about the reliability of the drawings used to estimate the fireproofing portion. By performing a complete field survey of every connection point, we developed a method for tracking progress by work phase and effectively managing crew size.

Working closely with the customer’s quality assurance/quality control and engineering teams, Brock Industrial specified coatings for insulated piping that provide heat and water resistance appropriate to the insulation type. For un-insulated piping, a three-coat system was selected based on cathodic, water barrier, and UV protection, as well as cosmetic appearance.

Work on the crude distillation unit was originally planned as a small turnaround. However, as the define stage progressed, the customer expanded the project until it was changed to a full design and build of a new crude unit. But because the rest of the modernization project had already been designed and the footprint laid out, there was no more real estate on which to build the new unit.

Instead, construction of the new unit began around the perimeter of the existing unit, which was then demolished to allow the remainder of the new unit to be built. This created unprecedented crew scheduling and coordination challenges under an aggressive time schedule. All of the work was completed at elevation in heavily congested areas, requiring Brock Industrial to work with – as well as around – other crafts involved on the project.

Because of delays beyond our control, the painting timeline was pushed into the winter months. We collaborated with the customer to created a Winter Painting Job Bulletin that now supersedes the original paint spec site-wide. Working with suppliers enabled Brock Industrial to identify coating systems with lower temperature restrictions, so painting could proceed throughout the coldest part of the year. As an additional benefit, some of those systems also have less restrictive surface preparation standards, which saved the customer considerable time and money throughout the site.

Results
Brock industrial completed our work the project safely over 22 months with a peak crew size of 325, delivering cost and scheduling savings to the client. During the work period from January 2011 to completion in October 2012, Brock industrial amassed 437,000 work hours without an OSHA recordable incident.
In 2011, we received a zero incident certificate of merit for 197,000+ safe work hours from the National Maintenance Agreements Policy Committee (NMAPC). In addition, we successfully completed two Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC) quality audits during the project duration

Conclusion
As a result of Brock Industrial’s quality and safety performance on this project, the customer awarded
us an additional $16 million in painting and fireproofing work.