In a conventional turnaround, after the routine steam-out or decontamination operations, mechanical cleaning of the equipment is performed; the time for mechanical cleaning depends on the amount of deposits to be removed and their physical state.
Therefore, handing over the equipment for maintenance/inspection/repair is made up by the following cumulative time:
Handing over to maintenance time = Safe entry achievement time + Mechanical cleaning time
Although mechanical cleaning (which falls under “maintenance”) is given for granted and accepted as a standard, its timing impacts the overall downtime both directly (equipment cannot be available to inspection/repair until clean) and indirectly (interference of cleaning activities with other ones).
Traditional scheduling and traditional mind set may impair from getting improvements, but optimizations and loss recovery are possible by being open to the evaluation of new technologies.
ITW has available technologies to reduce the above cumulative time.
During a Turnaround, ITW can apply two unique and patented technologies:
ITW Online Cleaning uses a patented method/process steps and chemicals to clean entire Units on a closed-loop basis, during the circulation in the hydrocarbon phase.
An entire production Unit is cleaned in as low as 24 hours or less.
ITW Online Cleaning is a patented cleaning technology which includes ALL of:
Among the others, we have cleaned online entire CDU preheat trains (40 exchangers and more) and Desalters in 24 hours; entire Visbreaker bottom circuit (28 exchangers) has also been cleaned in 24 hours.
This means, Customers can clean entire preheat trains without extracting the bundles and clean columns by reducing or eliminating the need for mechanical cleaning, with no waste and/or noxious emission generation.
ITW technology has also been used to avoid an unscheduled shutdown of production Units.
By utilizing ITW technology all the refinery units can be cleaned at the same time.
This will lead to a dramatic reduction of the turnaround schedule and, hence, to increased production.
ITW Online Cleaning is applicable to any Unit in the Oil & Gas industry.
ITW Improved Degassing/Decontamination uses a proprietary chemical to be added in the vapour phase, which will significantly reduce steam-out time and hence refinery downtime. At the same time, the chemical will eliminate:
- Any noxious odour during steam-out;
- Any pyrophoric iron problems.
The chemical does not create any emulsion and is biodegradable, therefore the condenses can very easily handled in the waste water treatment plant, with no need of any temporary storage or frac tanks.
An entire production unit can be decontaminated in as low as 4-8 hours.
The combination of ITW Online Cleaning and ITW Improved Degassing/Decontamination
ITW patents also cover the Decontamination operations when performed after ITW Online Cleaning.
By applying ITW Improved Degassing/Decontamination after ITW Online Cleaning the safe entry conditions will be achieved in a shorter time, and steam-out time/steam consumption will be further reduced.
This is because ITW Online Cleaning will remove lots of organic contaminants while removing sludge/coke material.
By combining ITW Improved Degassing/Decontamination after ITW Online Cleaning, we set up the “world record” for achieving safe entry conditions in a CDU/VDU in only 2 hours of steaming out with MEG F830.
Therefore after application of ITW Online Cleaning and ITW Improved Degassing/Decontamination, the Unit will not be only “safe for entry” (as performed by decontamination only), but “safe for entry and ready for inspection and hot work” with no/reduced need for mechanical cleaning.
This will dramatically reduce downtime and give great value to our Customers.
By considering typical margins some Units may create value for our Customers which exceeds 2 million USD/day.
With this in mind, the reduction of downtime achieved by ITW by combining our patented ITW Online Cleaning and ITW Improved Degassing/Decontamination technologies is an unrivalled tool our Customers to increase revenues.
Eliminating mechanical cleaning from the scope of work
Mechanical cleaning is given for granted during any turnaround and leads to major downtime even if this is not in the “critical path”. Mechanical cleaning impacts downtime both directly (equipment cannot be available to inspection/repair until clean) and indirectly (interference of cleaning activities with other ones). The performance of ITW technologies has led many of our Customers to remove mechanical cleaning from turnaround scope. Besides having a performance comparable to mechanical cleaning, ITW Online Cleaning can be indeed applied at any time to recover performance, rather than allowing the Unit’s performance to decay between turnarounds. Avoidance of mechanical cleaning during a turnaround dramatically reduces downtime and improves HS&E.
The value of ITW Online Cleaning and ITW Improved Degassing/Decontamination
ITW technologies application can give Customers a value of million USD figures, which exceed by far any potential saving (in the range of tens of thousands USD), which might be achieved by using the conventional technologies.
Customers should consider ITW technologies in terms of overall value which includes, among the others, all of:
The above, although impacting different budget items, should be considered altogether.
Therefore, rather than making a simple cost/cost evaluation, a complete cost/benefit analysis should be run.
When planning your upcoming turnaround or evaluating any operating need/improvement, please consider that ITW technologies can easily help you in reducing downtime and improving productivity, safety and reliability, as well as reducing overall costs.
Think of ITW first for what’s next!
Hereinafter are some pictures of results achieved during turnarounds:
See also others ITW Services: