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Oil refinery industry at twilight

Supporting a large-scale Turnaround with evolving requirements during the pandemic

Client: Major refining company

Location: Wales

Sectors: Petrochemical and refining

The challenge

Supporting a large-scale Turnaround, while adapting to changing customer needs

Conversations with the customer began back in 2018 for Aggreko to potentially help on a large scale planned Turnaround. They had used us previously for historical jobs including generator enquires, maintenance and other Aggreko Process Services (APS) projects on an ad-hoc basis.

The customer had a planned Turnaround scheduled for 2020 with initial conversations with other competitors alongside Aggreko taking place, however the customer had concerns about Aggreko’s ability to deliver a project of this scale.

Our past success record for Turnaround delivery for the customer was strong but the scale was much smaller. This would need a fresh approach with modern solutions and a real customer buy in.

Aggreko and the customer met with over 20 professionals in one room including, Turnaround managers but also other professionals from previous Daily Maintenance work undertaken – this gave us the chance to demonstrate our capability and overcome any preconceptions with undertaking projects of this scale, we began to work closer and closer with the customer adamant that we could deliver.

Project fact file

In a range of output sizes 10+kVA’s
Transformers 3 6.3
From planning to installation 3years

The solution

Demonstrating expertise through practical proof points, ensuring the customer had every question answered and that we could adapt the offering at any time, while remaining competitive

Supporting this Turnaround with a fresh approach and demonstrating evolving and pioneering ways of ensuring a successful project delivery was a firm requirement. It was clear from the start that our approach would have to captivate the customer.

In summer 2019, we reinforced our confidence with undertaking this project by taking the customer to a site visit at our contractor office and compound, located off-site at another refinery where we were executing a large Turnaround.

It was a case of actions speaking louder than words, first hand they were able to see our set up, and also how we managed the logistics of getting kit in and off site via the project office.

With a clear proof point from us, we created a bespoke proposal for the customer from APS, including high voltage capabilities and how Aggreko would successfully deliver the offering.

We ensured that the offering was not capped around power. Turnaround’s traditionally run the risk of being defined by being offline and the need to be online quickly due to financial decline. We made the conscious steps to ensure that our scoping survey factored in other areas that could use our involvement. With this consideration in place, our suggested offering also included temperature control (TC) and dehumidification prevention.

Helping them define and refine their scope, we remained confident when they put the project out to tender, supporting the decision of obtaining a competitive price.

With the consultation advice on hand from us and a drive to support from all angles, we were given the green light on the project in 2020.

The biggest power requirement was the alkylation unit and subsequent area, after consultation with the customer, the high voltage units were selected due to welding and post welding treatment and the specific requirements needed.

We also supplied five 1500 kW generating power, with transformers taking it up to 11 kV at the south end of the process unit. We designed a way in which we got the power to the unit most efficiently.

Essentially, we devised a way to get distributed power around the unit, giving them a high voltage offering – the distance involved here could have compromised the power deliverable, our choice with a high voltage offering again showcasing our expertise as this is much more specialised.

Our solution powered the main process areas affected by the Turnaround including the Fluid Catalytic Cracking unit (FCC), also the process area for Ultra Low Sulphur Gasoline (ULSG) and combined with this…A Merox plant. Also supported were off plots such as the contractor village, catering compound and even the car park lighting.

Again, flexibility and adaptation were showcased when several weeks prior to the Turnaround the customer was not confident with the high voltage option for the FCC, requesting a lower voltage option. Swiftly we delivered the Aggreko kit on site and installed.

The impact

The successful start of the Turnaround during exceptionally challenging times – all with no downtime

The scale of this project was vast and it demonstrated our ability to navigate and implement changes presented at the last minute.

The Turnaround was complex, and the installation of the kit happened right at the start of the pandemic. Aggreko during this period managed to still get equipment delivered and operational while managing close to 2,500 contractors plus the customers own staff (close to 3,000).

The feedback from the customer was nothing but positive and QHSE spot checks from them only enforced this. From the original tender win, we showed that we were accommodating and flexible as needs changed – having the logistical aptitude to ensure kit was available and could be installed quickly.

The customer was at ease with our operational professionalism as we effectively became a solutions provider for the Turnaround, making suggestions and recommendations based on many scoping surveys.

With 100% uptime, the Turnaround successfully can take place with no losses in production – meaning no monitory losses. For the future, the customer has plans for further Turnarounds in 2023 – we are already looking for alternative offerings that support the Energy Transition, looking at gas options and developing other emission reducing tactics.