26 December 2017

Experts of the entire region participated in ARPEL Workshop "Exchange of Best Practices in Plant Turnarounds" held in Chile with the support of ENAP

  • December 2017. ENAP hosted ARPEL Workshop “Exchange of Best Practices in Plant Turnarounds" held December 13-15, 2017 in Viña del Mar, Chile. It included two days of lectures and a visit to the Aconcagua Refinery.

    The oil industry in Latin America and the Caribbean, and particularly the refining industry, faces the challenge of operating and maintaining its production units in an efficient manner to ensure the competitiveness of refineries.

    The cost of maintenance is one of the most important management variables when optimizing the economic performance of an industry, not only because of the amounts of money involved, but mainly because of its great influence on the operational availability of the process units.

    The main objectives of the Workshop were: the exchange of best practices and lessons learned as a result of the experience in the execution of major plant turnarounds; the analysis of new management tools, experiences with new technologies and machinery that minimize the times and make field tasks safer; and the exchange of knowledge on contract models, staff training systems, among others.

    The meeting was attended by close to 200 professionals of AES Gener, Ancap, AP Networks, Axion Energy, Codelco, Ecopetrol, Emerson Automation Solutions, ENAP, EnvTech, Ferretería Amunategui, Ferrostaal Chile, GNL Quintero, Handcat, Honeywell-UOP, KBR, Lemasa, Profertil, Puerto Ventanas, Refinor, Repsol, Ruhrpumpen, Shell CAPSA, Techint, Técnica Armaq, Vertisub Chile, YPF, YPFB Refinación, from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, United States and Uruguay, and the Ministry of Energy of Chile.

    The following topics were addressed during the Workshop: Importance of plant turnarounds the economy of refineries; exchange of lessons learned in recent turnarounds; types of contracts, short- and long-term; development of a timeline for milestones of plant turnarounds; organization of the turnaround planning group; best practices in equipment inspection in the preparation of the maintenance turnaround of FCC unit; visual management, and safe reception of plans for startup, among many others.

    Below are some of the main conclusions reached at the workshop "Exchange of Best Practices in Plant Turnarounds":

    -The definition of tasks during turnaround are determined at least one year in advance, and the work done by the equipment inspection management is important, since an important part of the list of tasks to be performed during turnarounds is generated with its inspection plans set according to standards (API) and the use of the latest technologies.

    -In the chapter of new technologies, the use of hazardous tasks, of machinery with remote control and robots, as well as the practice of chemical decontamination of units, contribute to the quality of the work, the efficiency and the reduction of risks to people and industrial incidents.

    -As regards contractors, the type of contracts and their duration are key issues in all refineries. The new trend is to make more long-term contracts, in some cases for six years, to favor the incorporation of modern equipment, management systems and the retention and development of staff.

    -Some of the operating companies have chosen to hire a company to take care of all turnarounds in their refineries and interact with local businesses (international company). This also favors the participation of the experts of these companies in the turnaround planning group in refineries.

    -The staff trained in the various trades to work in turnarounds is a critical issue in all countries. For this reason, states and companies are joining efforts and working on training and certification of trades.

    -In relation to safety during turnarounds, the indicators presented by companies show significant progress in this field. The commitment of all staff, both own staff and contractors, is evident, and this is the result of training and the use of new work processes.

    For further information on Refining, please contact Ricardo Buyatti, Downstream Manager of ARPEL. Contact: rbuyatti@arpel.org.uy

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