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Reducing FCC Turnaround Costs: Focus on Speed and Safety

Presented By

Brent Dell - TriStarGES


In today’s environment, all costs need to be examined closely to increase profitability. This presentation will focus specifically on best practices to reduce the costs involved during an FCC turnaround. This particular unit is very challenging in most refineries especially as the equipment ages. The internal packing inside an FCC is one of the largest risks involved in the turnaround. Pyrophorics needs to be eliminated during the preparation for entrance so there are no complications during maintenance or start up.

There is no test for pyrophoric iron sulfide therefore, in most cases a presumption needs to be made that it is present inside an FCC. This presentation will go through Best Practices for preparing the FCC for entry and hot work. The preparatory step is crucial in keeping costs low throughout the turnaround and can be done quickly without sacrificing safety. Additional costs will also be examined and methods to reduce or eliminate them including; water usage, personnel footprint, wastewater treatment, and tray replacements. Not only will these best practices reduce costs and time to prepare an FCC for maintenance but will also reduce unplanned costs that could result from a pyrophoric incident or secondary treatment if contaminants are found during maintenance or start up.

Following the best practice discussion will be a case study involving a large FCC unit turnaround with a tight schedule and a history of pyrophorics. A change in procedures that were put in place will be discussed including planning, set up, job duration, and effluent. The results from the pre-maintenance change in procedures will be examined including time and effect on entire turnaround costs.

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