Client West Coast refinery

Location USA

Sectors Petrochemical and refining

The challenge

Help a refinery going through a major overhaul meet emission standards

A west coast refinery was scheduling a major overhaul of their hydrocracker unit and knew it was going to result in high emissions. Recent California law meant there was stricter regulations for emissions and the refinery estimated they would miss the mark by about 150 per cent. 

What they needed was a source of power during the overhaul that would comply with the environmental regulations but also deliver the project on time. We came up with the idea of using gas generators but the customer was unsure. Would it work with their current infrastructure? And would it be safe and comply with all the codes?


Project fact file

99.7% uptime

Efficiency of gas generators

97% reduction

In emissions using gas over diesel

6.5 months

Installation time

The solution

Gas-fuelled generators instead of diesel-fuelled engines   

We put together a plan we were confident would work but the customer still had doubts. Get it wrong and they faced severe repercussions from hefty fines and penalties to a loss of reputation in the community. 

To allay their fears we hired a neutral third party engineer to go over the plan. He gave it a tick of approval and we went ahead and installed a natural gas generator, compressor, heat exchanger and air conditioner for confined spaces. 

We also provided four Tier 4 200 kW diesels for backup purposes. Tier 4 units are the latest generation of diesel engines with reduced emissions.


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The impact

Emission regulations met, no fines or penalties incurred 

The natural gas generator ran continually for the entire six and a half months the hydrocracker was going through its major maintenance and upgrade cycle. 

It was a hassle-free project with no need to service the installation at any time. It had an up time of 99.7 per cent and the use of gas generators over diesel engines allowed the refinery to achieve a 97 per cent reduction in emissions.  

The refinery met all California emissions standards laws thereby avoiding any fines, penalties, or loss of reputation in the community or industry.


“We were confident our gas generators would work but were happy to have our work validated by a third-party specialist. Putting customer’s minds at rest is part of the job.”

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