Indo-US collaboration for modularizing distillation plants

Indo-US collaboration for modularizing distillation plants

GPE has successfully executed the contract for engineering, procurement, manufacturing and supply of a Kerosene Distillation Plant for a GCC based end user. We worked closely with our customer and process designer KLM Technology Group from Houston to modularize this complex multilevel distillation plant in record time.

The system was divided into 6 skids with the largest being 8m in length, 3.8m in width and 5m in height. There were four process skids, two utility skids and a distillation tower. Due to height restrictions applicable at the site in Middle East, the distillation tower had to be divided into two separate towers each of 25m height and operating in series. 9 Heat Exchangers of which 1 was a kettle reboiler and 8 were of AES type TEMA-R construction, 4 Vessels, Kerosene Filters, Hot Oil Filters, 7 Pumps and a 2.2 MW Electric Heater. The package was automated with 20 actuated valves, more than 30 transmitters, 3 control panels which was the Heater Panel for the heater, Motor Control Centre for the 7 pump motors and PLC panel for the actuated valves, transmitters in the system. Provision for manual operation at required stages was provided.

The entire package was in hazardous area: Zone2, Gas Group IIA/IIB, T3. The design temperature was 330 ˚C and pressure was 15 barg, which made it a 300# execution. Due to this high temperature, all pressure and flow transmitters were fitted with remote seals, pressure gauges were fitted with diaphragm seals and syphons. All vessels, towers and pipes were insulated as per standards applicable in petrochemical plants. To trip the entire plant in case of fire , LEL detectors had been installed in areas where there were chances of leakage. Also, all control valves had a provision of quick shutoff using solenoids.

Covid-19 caused many hurdles to timely project completion

  • 3500 inch-dia pipe spool joints had to be completed in just two months We had to ensure full penetration joints without back-chipping with 100% RT. Social distancing was strictly adhered and this meant slower set-ups and welding progress. We also faced challenges with purity and shortage of Argon as suppliers had to focus on oxygen. As a corrective action ,we paid for tripple vacuumization of argon, which helped to achieve sound weld joints.
  • There were more than 30 people working on the labor front at GPE when Government of India had announced the lockdown. We took the approach of adaptive planning to counter the irregularities caused by the lockdown restrictions. We restricted workers’ movements in the isolation bubble. Body temperature, oxygen level measurement, sanitization, social distancing norms were followed to make sure that none of the workers got infected in the factory premises.
Another important aspect of modularization implemented in this project was the deployment of a robust project management and progress tracking system to ensure the on time delivery of the skid packages adhering to the quality standards confirming to international codes such as ASME, API, TEMA etc. A comprehensive Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) was performed during which all sub-systems were tested (like MCC, PLC panels) and verified by independent TPIA TUV Nord. Pneumatic test with nitrogen was done to identify if there were any leakage on pipe spool lines, valves and instrument connection joints. GPE has successfully satisfied contractual obligations within stipulated CDD, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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