Complex turnaround

In week 38 of 2013, SABIC naphta cracker Olefins 4 (OLE 4) was shut down for more than six weeks for a large scale overhaul. During this turnaround (TA), which takes place every six years, improvements were made to the plant’s safety, reliability and energy efficiency. The project was executed by ten contractors working with more than 2,500 employees who carried out more than 1,300 planned maintenance jobs on peak days. SABIC started the preparations and planning for the TA of this complex project four years prior to work starting.

Asbestos removal

During the turnaround, Hertel (Asbestos Removal) was responsible for the removal of all asbestos gaskets in the plant. As early as February 2012, the first recordings were done to detect all scope items. Based on these files and several alignment meetings with the customer, we localised the turnaround jobs that were likely to contain asbestos and assessed each one on accessibility and actual asbestos. When in doubt we took random samples for analysis. Thus we detected 280 suspicious turnaround jobs. Further, we determined the workload and put together a project team of 50 asbestos removal experts, with a project leader and fifteen Deskundig Toezichthouders Asbestsloop or DTAs (asbestos removal supervisors). Rob Goltstein, operational manager Hertel, "Despite the double workload, the execution time for the project remained three weeks. The extra professionals we brought in to help, the longer shifts that we planned and our proactive attitude meant that Hertel could meet the demands of the contractors."

More asbestos

During the turnaround, the chemical contractors discovered 150 additional turnaround jobs besides the 280 scope items. Even though they were not marked suspicious beforehand, it turned out that they also contained asbestos. Another challenge for the Hertel team was the unexpected presence of asbestos in the 40 metre high column C 211. Despite these unforeseen circumstances, the team still succeeded in executing this complex operation in time.

Air pressure machines

Stephan van Doorn was project leader Asbestos removal Hertel during this turnaround. Stephan: “Column C 211 was located in an already contained scaffolded area. In order to remove the asbestos at pressurised conditions, we built a tent in this contained space.” We also needed air pressure machines and it was quite a challenge to place this equipment in an already contained scaffolded area. “So we hired additional experts and worked 24/7 for ten days. On top of that, we hired a specialised firm that removed all polluted materials with an asbestos vacuum cleaning vehicle.”

Proactive 

Rob Goltstein, operational manager at Hertel, explains how his team worked on this project. “Although the preparation was thorough, we had to adjust our planning. In close cooperation with the customer and other contractors we often located the turnaround jobs that we could handle ourselves.” Despite the double workload the execution time for the project remained three weeks. With the help of extra professionals, longer shifts and a proactive attitude, Hertel could meet the demands of the contractors.

Double scope, on time  

The customer is highly satisfied with the way Hertel handled the job. Stephan: “The customer was impressed that we handled more than double the scope on time and without any incidents.”

Our added value

Team of asbestos removal experts

The workload was determined and a project team of asbestos removal experts was put together. 

Double scope, on time

Despite the double workload, the execution time for the project remained three weeks.

Proactive and flexible attitude

With the help of extra professionals, longer shifts and a proactive attitude we could meet the demands of the contractors.