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Ras Tanura Refinery completes inspection project

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Ras Tanura Refinery (RTR) has successfully completed a major turnaround and inspection (T&I).

Production up-time of the gas condensate fractionation and the platformer/naptha hydrotreater (NHT) units is key at RTR. The T&Is were conducted on both units and were completed in a new best-in-class duration for the respective units when compared to their global peers as per globally accepted Solomon Study refinery benchmarks. The fractionation unit T&I was completed in 27 days, and the platformer unit T&I was completed in 32 days, against benchmarks of 28 days and 35 days, respectively.

The RTR gas condensate fractionation unit, and the platformer/NHT units were shut down for the T&I to carry out inspections and maintenance as per the equipment inspection schedule (EIS), and to execute other maintenance and projects that require plant downtime. The plants are on a five-year T&I cycle.

Planning and preparation for the T&I kicked off two years ago, and followed an internally developed process based on the ‘Corporate Maintenance Turnaround Manual’. Milestones and deliverables were closely monitored and managed by the relevant division heads and department heads. The team targeted zero safety and environmental incidents, zero leaks and reworks, completing the T&I within the scheduled duration, and within the business plan budgeted cost.

The work was completed safely, with zero, health, safety and environmental (HSE) incidents or injuries. The enormity of the HSE performance is appreciated when considering that 9258 permits were issued, more than 500 000 man-hours were expended, with peak manning in excess of 1900 people on-site per day. The HSE performance was enabled by a robust T&I HSE process. The process brings together the HSE requirements applicable to T&Is, with deliverables throughout the planning and execution processes. A modified lockout/tagout procedure was agreed upon with loss prevention and successfully implemented.

The RTR team successfully completed the platformer reactor’s 20 in. bypass project. The modification, design, procurement and implementation were conducted in-house in partnership with Honeywell UOP and the Process and Control Systems Department. The bypass will mitigate the differential pressure experienced due to catalyst pinning across the platformer’s second reactor, avoiding an 11-day shutdown during the upcoming five-year run period and resulting in significant value creation. RTR partnered with 13 contractor companies in the T&I.

RTR employees and their management are committed to further improve T&I planning and execution while also maintaining best-in-class performance.

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