Below you will find a variety of project features, showcasing Proconics' versatility and agility on project execution.
Alkylation plant safety improvement project
In line with the latest best practices on Hydrofluoric acid on refineries, the client and refinery licensor initiated various safety improvement initiatives.
This included minimizing human interaction on sampling, improving rotating equipment safety, and improving safety protection against trace HF exotherms amongst others.
The Proconics team evaluated the existing operations and brownfields asset, in combination with API 751 and licensor best practices to complete the engineering, design, and construction.
Understanding how to marry modern best practices with an installed base in a cost-savvy manner was critical, whilst always keeping the stringent HF safety precautions as the number one priority.
Proconics hosted an HF safety boot camp to ensure all construction and shutdown personnel understood all risks and joined Proconics on the zero incident journey.
A portfolio of projects was executed by Proconics as part of the refinery shutdown. This included various modifications and projects on the alkylation plant, KOH treater (propane and butane rundown), alkylation sampling systems, flush and pump systems process upgrades.
Proconics was EPC and Construction principal contractor, inclusive of engineering and design fabrication, civils, mechanical and piping installation, permit receiving, cranage & rigging, hydro testing, and flushing, post-weld heat treating, punching, quality control and handover, safety boot camps, etc.
Fabrication and Installation of new process modifications with 43 new process trips 102 off PAU tie-ins, including vessels and post-weld heat treatment in the HF Alkylation plant, during the 2019 Turnaround shutdown with 24-hour construction.
Tank farm compliance projects
After a devastating incident, a process safety leadership task group was formed to provide an effective framework and meaningful recommendation to the industry to improve the safety of specifically tanks farms.
As a responsible operator, Proconics’ refinery client seeked to implement these best practices on their site.
This required expert knowledge of the best practices, API standards, Functional safety standards, and directives, in combination with an intimate understanding of the specific site.
Brownfields expertise was also required to ensure the correct technology selection to interface to existing systems and existing static mechanical equipment with limited nozzle interfaces.
Proconics together with the refinery owners team tackled the project in a phased migration approach.
Phase 1 was to ensure API 2350 compliance audit, technology selection, and proof of concept. A basic and detailed engineering was completed for selected tanks, synchronizing with the refinery tank maintenance outage plan.
The project was completed EPC and the roll-out cemented for the remainder of the tank farm.
Proconics recently completed the front end engineering and roadmap estimate for the complete tank farm.
Proconics together with the technology supplier ensured smart design practices, combining nozzles and low failure rate elements to ensure the minimum mechanical impact on the existing tank.
Additional to this, Proconics has also recently completed gas detection front-end design as part of further improvements, utilizing Proconics drone technology to bring the tank farm into the office!
The project was completed over various phases ( Proconics completed concept, FEED, procurement construction installation, and commissioning).
The first tank site work was successfully completed in the tank shutdown window with > 19 000 hours worked without a recordable case.
This project is a true example of how the partnership between a pragmatic and dedicated client and a trusted EPC partner can bring innovative solutions, in quick turnaround time, matching compliance upgrades with existing maintenance strategies, overhauls, and Turnarounds
Tank Safety and Environmental Compliance
As a responsible operator, this refinery is dedicated to its air quality improvement projects.
As part of this project a technology selection was done by the owner for a suitable vapour recovery unit.
The challenge was integrating a package unit technology into existing light petroleum component tanks in a Brownfields environment.
Package units typically impose constraints that had to be married to existing tank mechanical integrity (such as roof and shell load-bearing limitations), API overpressure protection compared to minimum VRU operating pressure limits.
The engineering team had to work closely with the client to meet factory demand on tanks, safe-making of tanks, in combination with compliance deadlines.
Proconics worked together with the client and Technology Licensor to ensure integration between the packaged unit and existing plant was achieved successfully.
Piping and process design was adapted innovatively to eliminate additional stresses on the existing infrastructure whilst ensuring safety, maintainability, and operability providing a tailored approach as opposed to conventional Greenfields design.
The system was commissioned successfully in 2019.
Progress from Google Earth!
Being Part of a project directly contributing to the health and safety of people and the environment and being able to see the civils take shape from google earth!
>40000 hours on site
The project was implemented in approximately 14 months (including package unit fabrication and lead time).
Gas Detection Project
A fire incident that occurred in 2005 has prompted the industry to re-assess its preventative and protective response measures related to certain process risks.
The API 2350 was developed to address overfill protection in storage tanks. Prescription 9 as described in Engineering Report for the API-2350 requirements addresses gas detectors in the bunds of the storage tanks.
Each bund with a TCFL having a capacity larger than 100m3 of a hydrocarbon detection sensor shall be located in the bund of the tank.
The Gas Detection Project was targeting the implementation of a control system that will also serve as a mitigation layer of protection for any flammable gas (hydrocarbons) leak and possible ignition in this tank area.
An initial geographical approach resulted in 236 gas detectors being installed, which required a significant investment.
Proconics conducted a study to optimize on layout and design based on a quantitative analysis for scenario-based gas detection mapping assessment.
The outcome from the study was that the number of gas detectors required could be reduced from 236 (point detectors) to 1 open path and 40 point detectors, a total of 41.
The potential for overfill of an atmospheric storage tank to result in the formation of a large vapor cloud was identified.
The quantitative analysis indicated that the proposed reduced gas detectors will detect 95% to 99% of such an event. This is the highest degree of detection (Grade A) as defined by ISATR84.00.07-2018, Guidance on the Evaluation of Fire, Combustible Gas and Toxic Gas System Effectiveness.
This approach not only significantly reduced the detector costs but also associated installation requirements and civil and cable infrastructure.
Furnace Efficiency and SANS 329 Design
Furnaces inherently pose process safety risks to refineries and also form part of strategic energy efficiency drivers.
Combustion equipment and furnaces renewal projects can address reliability, personnel safety, and environmental compliance.
Efficient thermo-processing equipment is beneficial not only in terms of environmental compliance but its use reduces downtime and creates the potential for improved energy efficiency, as well as reduced operational, feedstock, and energy supply costs.
This project required identification of mechanical and control strategies that will permit safe and efficient operation of all fired heaters and boilers as well as the inclusion of additional measures that will allow operations to ultimately reduce unnecessary fuel gas firing.
In our involvement with clients, an important focus for us is to marry the optimization and compliance requirements with the minimization of impact on existing operations.
Proconics is able to use its subject matter expertise in combination with technology independence to develop landscapes and roadmaps that best serve the complexities inherent in hazardous area operations.
Outside of this, Proconics has been involved in projects spanning the complete spectrum of combustion equipment – from large system upgrades on multiple boiler trains to complete gas reticulation systems and burner retrofits on process heaters. From feasibility, auditing, and landscaping to fabrication, construction, and commissioning,
Emergency Inventory Isolation Valve projects
As a responsible operator, this Proconics refining client has developed and is implementing with Proconics a roadmap extending over a number of years to upgrade their emergency shutdown system, as a means of preventing loss of containment, fire, fire leading to explosions, as well as unnecessary harm to the environment and the people working in and living around the refinery.
All vessels in the refinery in hydrocarbon service have been assessed for the need of installing inventory isolation valves to minimize the release of hydrocarbons in the event of a loss of containment.
A set of organized and systematic assessments of the potential hazards surrounding the refinery unit processes was conducted.
PHA was conducted to improve safety, prevent loss of hydrocarbon containment, or in the event of loss of containment, reduce the consequences.
The mechanical and structural design philosophies were developed specifically to allow access to the valves and to minimize the distance between the valves and the source vessel.
Access platforms are strategically placed to ensure that it does not hinder main access routes and minimizes the modification of piping, allowing unhindered operation and maintenance of pump trains and unhindered access along main access routes.
Proconics has been involved in the concept, FEED, procurement as well as fabrication, construction and commissioning (EPC and Construction principal contractor, inclusive of fabrication, civils, mechanical and piping installation, permit receiving, cranage & rigging, hydrotesting and flushing, post weld heat treating, punching, quality control and handover, safety bootcamps etc.)
20 EIV protection systems installed and running to date.
Compressor House Gas Detection Project
Following an audit performed by refinery owners, several facility upgrades on rotating machinery have been recommended in the interest of process safety, reliability, and availability.
It was required that the compressor comply with the API618 minimum requirements and API 670 respectively.
Proconics worked together with the client and OEM team to engineer Condition monitoring, Process and Utility Instrumentation, Stuffing Box and vent collection modifications, and crank case modifications.
Proconics was also appointed to engineer gas detection dispersion modelling and sensor placement, as well as technology selection for hydrogen compressor safety.
Proconics executed a comprehensive basic engineering package that was suitable for detailed engineering for a turnkey project for the design, consultation, procurement, development, testing, training, installation and commissioning.
Basic Engineering also investigated compliance to latest best practices:
1. Act No 85 1993 Occupational Health
and Safety Act – Regulations of the
Republic of South Africa,
2. API 614, 5th Ed. Lubrication, Shaft-
sealing and Oil-control Systems, and
3. API 618, 5th Ed. Reciprocating
Compressors for Petroleum, Chemical,
and Gas Industry Services,
4. API 670, 5th Ed. Machinery Protection