Efficiency is hugely important if a turnaround is to be a success simply because it means less time is needed. Which is why it is so important that all those taking part in such projects work together well. No easy task as such large-scale turnarounds not only involve the company’s own teams of experts but many external specialists as well. More than 1,000 BUCHEN and XERVON operatives travelled to Gelsenkirchen to participate in the TAR 2018. Both companies delivered a comprehensive package of services covering seven different specialist areas of business.
delivered a comprehensive package of services covering seven different specialist areas of business
BUCHEN and XERVON had spent months in advance meticulously preparing their work for the turnaround. In many cases, they had to draw up bespoke concepts to dovetail the different processes and even develop some technical innovations. During this particular inspection, BUCHEN was responsible for the industrial cleaning work as well as for any vacuum services that were needed.
The parts were either cleaned in situ or taken to a special washing area that BUCHEN had set up specifically for the project and equipped with an ultrasound cleaning unit. The reactors were emptied, cleaned, serviced and refilled by the specialists from BUCHEN-ICS, the company’s catalyst service division. They were accompanied by a whole fleet of life support vehicles to guarantee maximum health and safety levels were in place throughout.
With the site home to two plants and a whole number of facilities, carrying out a planned turnaround at BP’s refinery in Gelsenkirchen is in a class of its own. Tens of thousands of tasks have to be performed in the shortest of periods, in narrow spaces and with different specialists working side by side – and, of course, top quality results must be achieved at all times.
From scaffolding to industrial insulation
XERVON made sure that everyone had safe access by erecting around 10,000 tonnes of scaffold material. This work also included delivering a number of scaffolding services, such as setting up a complex structure to support a heavy cable high above the ground. XERVON Instandhaltung’s maintenance experts carried out mechanical tasks in two of the four refinery plants as well as the piping work. Just one of the jobs here – a particularly difficult one – was installing new pipes on a piece of equipment weighing 100 tonnes. While the main focus of the work performed by XERVON Oberflächentechnik and its team of surface technology specialists was on protecting equipment against corrosion, they also had to apply a ceramic coating on a boiler so that it could continue to be used.
As is the case with every turnaround, the teams had to deal with situations at the TAR 2018 that were impossible to predict or plan. Experience, expertise and flexibility are key here as is having access to a wide number of specialists and an extensive range of technologies – all of which BUCHEN and XERVON have. Strengths that enable them to offer their customers exceptional services.
There’s no doubt about it – Europe’s largest refinery inspection created some major challenges for all those involved. And, once again, it underlined what is of paramount importance to such projects: safety, quality and excellent teamwork.