SOLUTION: Process Engineering and Optimization Article Summary

Process Engineering
and Optimization
C. HENRE, Burns & McDonnell, Kansas City,
Missouri; R. SATTERFIELD, Burns & McDonnell,
Houston, Texas; and J. GARRIS, Coffeyville Resources
Refining & Marketing LLC, Coffeyville, Kansas
In-depth and preemptive front-end planning
yields positive project results
Despite the challenges that major projects can present (short
deadlines, budget constraints and overruns, unforeseen problems onsite and tension throughout executive teams), they can
also prove to be a win-win for both the owner and the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firm.
With the objective of meeting the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation limiting the benzene (C6H6 )
content in gasoline, Burns & McDonnell performed front-end
planning (FEP) and detailed EPC services for the Coffeyville
Resources Refining & Marketing Mobile Source Air Toxics
(MSAT2) project at its refinery in Coffeyville, Kansas. The EPA
regulation required the Coffeyville refinery (FIG. 1) to achieve
standard compliance, which dictates that the maximum annual
average benzene content in the gasoline pool be 61
Process Engineering and Optimization
stabilizer. The dehexanizer tower reduces the benzene and
benzene precursor concentration of the feed stream to the
CCR to 0.5 vol%.




Overcoming project obstacles
Proactive benefits of computer-generated models
Fireproofing applications
Safely moving the tower to the site.
Facts about the new unit:
• The dehexanizer column itself measures approximately
200 ft in length, has a diameter of 12.5 ft and contains
76 fractionation trays (FIG. 3).
• The tower overhead is condensed with an air cooler, and
the overhead product is fed to the isomerization unit.
• The dehexanizer bottoms are reboiled by a new
fired heater.
• The absorbed heat duty for the reboiler is 65.5 MMBtu/hr.
• The fired heater reboiler is equipped with ultra-lownitrogen oxide (NOx ) burners.
• The dehexanizer bottoms product is fed to the CCR.
Aspects that led to positive project results:
• Comprehensive focus on safety
• Engagement of client/owner and EPC
Benzene and
precursors Isomerization
unit
Debutanizer
C5 and C6
to gasoline
blending
Depentanizer
Comprehensive focus on safety. Safety was at the forefront
of all design, planning and execution efforts for this project.
This focus on safety resulted in more than 150,000 direct and
indirect field work hours being performed without a US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordable incident. This was achieved through
multiple proactive actions. The use of a task safety observation
(TSO) program to help promote awareness of safe working behaviors for the EPC firm’s employees and subcontractors was
of primary importance. Construction workers (FIG. 4) were encouraged to observe various working activities and to write their
observations, noting safe and unsafe working behaviors. The
top observed safe and unsafe work practices were reviewed each
week to reinforce the message of the program. The project also
utilized a craft safety recognition and incentive program, supported by the owner and the EPC firm.
Additionally, the owner instituted group site assessments, involving the EPC firm and its construction subcontractors, that
not only reviewed the project site, but also other projects/locations within the refinery. All observations from the group were
recorded, and action items were assigned and confirmed.
Dehexanizer
Hydrobon
(NHT)
Engagement of client/owner and EPC firm. By engaging
New
Existing
Hydrodesulfurization
(HDS)
CCR
Reformate to
gasoline blending
FIG. 2. This flowsheet configuration illustrates the installation of a
new dehexanizer unit to achieve compliance with EPA benzene
reduction rules.
FIG. 3. The dehexanizer column itself is approximately 200 ft long.
62APRIL 2016
| HydrocarbonProcessing.com
the owner in early collaboration during the planning phase of
the MSAT2 project and using the Construction Industry Institute’s (CII’s) FEP process, the EPC firm gained a clear picture of
the owner’s objectives and expectations, and was able to identify risk factors and achieve full alignment on the project’s scope.
By leveraging its experience and buying power, the EPC firm
facilitated a greater diversity of competitively bid work than the
owner had typically performed on past projects. Proactive expediting and supplier-quality surveillance monitored equipment
and fabricator progress, highlighting where additional efforts
were necessary to mitigate potential problems.
Early planning identified the need to begin construction sooner than linear engineering progression would support to avoid
FIG. 4. A comprehensive focus on safety resulted in more than 150,000
field work hours being performed without an OSHA recordable incident.
Process Engineering and Optimization
performing civil and foundation work throughout the winter.
The EPC firm organized the construction work into execution
packages that drove priorities for deliverables from its engineering team. The team developed early investigative work packages
for the owner to support project scoping and to mitigate project
risks. The early work packages included such scopes as hydrotrenching for unknown underground obstructions, geotechnical analysis, demolition and removal of abandoned foundations
and piping, identification of tie-in points, and 3D laser scanning.
The EPC firm’s construction-driven engineering plan greatly enhanced the construction craft productivity, as the firm was able
to deliver pre-fireproofed structural steel the week that the foundations were completed and to begin delivery of piping spools
two weeks after steel delivery. The piping spools were on site
within five weeks of the first prefabricated steel delivery.
Turnover systems were identified early in the project, and
the EPC firm subsequently planned construction to support
a planned system turnover schedule. The implementation of
a quantity-based, earned-value management system provided
continual awareness of actual construction progress and the
productivity of the EPC firm’s construction subcontractors.
This provided early indications of subcontractors that might be
struggling to achieve their planned productivity, allowing for adjustments to be made to improve the volume of work. Monitoring was also put into place so that, if the planned work volume
was not being achieved for a given period, critical path activities
would not be affected.
Additionally, the FEP process defined the project’s scope
and facilitated the division of risk between the owner and EPC
firm, facilitating predictable project results. As part of this division of risk and economics, the owner performed certain
construction activities, such as welded tie-ins, main electrical
connections and other activities that are highly integrated into
the refinery’s ongoing operations and facility. The generation of
well-defined engineering and construction documents aided in
construction craft productivity in the field.
As a result, the project budget grew less than 0.1% in total
installed cost (TIC) from change orders, experienced minimal
construction rework due to engineering, and was completed
four weeks ahead of schedule.
Overcoming project obstacles. As with any complex FEP
and EPC undertaking, the MSAT2 project provided its own
challenges, which included:
• Defining and aligning the electrical equipment scope
• Negotiating contract terms and conditions for major
bought-outs such as the tower, heater and electrical
equipment
• Monitoring and mitigating issues with fabrication
progress and quality
• Overcoming an awarded mechanical subcontract that
came in over budget
• Compensating for weather impacts on construction and
tower delivery
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Hydrocarbon Processing | APRIL 201663
Process Engineering and Optimization
• Recognizing the initial poor productivity of one of its
subcontractors and diligently working to minimize the
impact of this on the overall project schedule.
Proactive benefits of computer-generated models.
Computer-generated 3D models (FIG. 5) have become a standard in engineering design for refineries. These models are
invaluable tools that enable various engineering disciplines to
interact with each other and ensure that equipment and materi-
FIG. 5. A detailed, adaptive 3D model was developed in the early
FEP phase and used throughout the life of the project to provide
predictable project results, minimize scope changes and ensure that
the design met project objectives.
als align. The MSAT2 project set out to use these models to not
only bridge the gap between engineering disciplines, but also
to better align engineering design for complex constructability
efforts. The use of 3D laser scanning permitted the accurate design of interfaces and tie-ins to the existing facilities.
Another example was the prime critical lift of the dehexanizer
tower. Once fully assembled, the tower had an overall length of
more than 200 ft. Without proper planning, much of the installation of the tower access platforms, electrical lighting, piping
and instrumentation would have to be performed in an elevated
environment after the tower was erected to the vertical position.
To mitigate these concerns, additional precautions would be
needed to avoid negatively affecting installation productivity.
The EPC engineers created a 3D model of the tower and its
ancillary equipment. The model was then repeatedly reviewed
by the firm’s construction professionals to ensure that a majority
of the ancillary items could be installed while the tower was in
the horizontal position on the ground. This allowed for multiple
crews to work on various sections, providing a safer working environment. These engineering and construction model reviews
led to modified platform designs: a switch from trunnion-style
lift points to top lifting lugs, the specific placement of piping
flanges, and the early procurement of electrical and instrumentation materials. Such modifications contributed to an increase
in field construction productivity and allowed the tower to be
erected fully dressed, including all insulation, platforms, ladders,
downcomer piping, instruments and electrical components.
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64APRIL 2016
| HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Process Engineering and Optimization
The model-based research also resulted in changing the top
platform design so the platform could be pre-installed during
horizontal dress-out, with small extensions bolted on after the
tower was erected and access to the lifting lugs was no longer
required. Additional changes to the piping design were identified to facilitate hydrotesting of downcomer piping so it could
be pre-installed on the tower before the lift, eliminating the
need for hydrotesting after tower erection.
Additionally, the model was used to help develop the critical lift plan for the tower. Profile snapshots of the fully dressed
tower supported pictorial and dimensional checks to verify
that the site had sufficient space for both the tower lift and the
required primary crane. These combined efforts allowed the
tower to be lifted on schedule and without a safety incident.
Moving the tower to the site. Transportation of materials
and equipment can sometimes be an afterthought. However,
moving a 200-ft tower approximately 135 mi was an early priority for this project. Working with a third-party subcontractor, the
EPC firm’s construction team conducted an extensive and coordinated logistical investigation, generating a detailed transportation survey during the FEP stages of the project. This research
included assessing preliminary heavy-haul routes to the refinery and associated options for delivery of the tower, along with
Fireproofing applications. Based on owner specifications,
the unit required fireproofing on all structural members. While
this is a common practice within refinery units, a thorough
analysis was performed to determine the type of fireproofing
that would maximize safety and installation productivity, while
also minimizing initial installation cost.
The owner’s typical fireproofing method was to use standard concrete-encased steel. Concrete fireproofing provides
fire-retardant properties, as well as an industry-standard application methodology. Additionally, concrete material is relatively less expensive than other fireproofing materials. The
downside to concrete fireproofing is its weight and the structural load that it adds. It was determined that approximately
80% of the steel members (FIG. 6) requiring fireproofing could
be shop fabricated, while the remaining 20% would require
field application at the block-outs. Applying this 20% in the
field would require scaffolding for the application crew and
corresponding consumption of construction volume, coordination and schedule.
Instead of concrete-encased fireproofing, the team evaluated intumescent fireproofing, which provides the same fireretardant properties as concrete but is less dense and heavy.
The reduction in weight consequently reduced the structural
load on the steel and permitted more pre-fireproofed structure
to be shipped per truckload than concrete-encased steel. The
team determined that approximately 20 tons of steel could be
saved by the weight reduction in fireproofing, and that 90% of
the steel members could be shop-fabricated.
An added benefit of intumescent fireproofing is that it can
be applied with rollers and does not require framing, eliminating the need for scaffolding and enabling block-outs to be
reached with man lifts. This would reduce the volume needed
to perform the work, as well as reduce the number of construction personnel required. A detriment to intumescent fireproofing is that it is more expensive than concrete.
With these factors in mind, the team developed a cost comparison and determined that both options were approximately
the same from an initial CAPEX perspective. The team elected
to proceed with intumescent fireproofing to stay in line with its
goals of enhancing field productivity. The EPC firm’s quality
inspection teams reviewed drawings in the fabrication facility
to verify that members were properly coated. These efforts led
to minimal field rework and high productivity for steel installation and field fireproofing.
FIG. 6. By using intumescent fireproofing, which provides the same
fire-retardant properties as concrete but is less dense and weighs less,
the structural load on the steel was reduced.
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65
Process Engineering and Optimization
an onsite evaluation of multiple heavy-lift scenarios. The EPC
firm’s engineers were also consulted to confirm that the tower
was designed to minimize over-the-road hazards. Items such as
platform and pipe supports were engineered to be field-installed
depending on their effect on the overall tower transportation.
The survey was then converted to a heavy-haul plan to ensure
that the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) was informed and prepared for the tower’s movements (FIG. 7). Precautions were arranged to prevent public property damage, and items
such as cantilever-arm railroad crossings, traffic signal lights and
signposts had to be temporarily removed to make room for the
tower. The team’s diligence allowed the tower to be transported
from Emporia, Kansas, to the refinery in Coffeyville, Kansas, in
FIG. 7. Careful heavy-haul planning and close coordination with the
Kansas Department of Transportation allowed the 200-ft-long tower
to move approximately 135 mi in four days without incident.
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four days without incident, an impressive feat considering it was
completed in January while encountering winter road hazards.
Notable successes. The EPC firm and the owner achieved
many valuable successes throughout the project’s planning and
execution, including:
• Excellent safety performance
• Strong FEP scope, scheduling and estimates
• Early procurement of long-lead equipment
• Proactive expediting, supplier qu …
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