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Photo courtesy of SARAS SpA, Sarroch Refinery, Italia

Examples of EPS Consultancy services delivered in 2016

Review of Oil Movement logistics

EPS has completed an Oil Movement logistics review for an EU customer refinery. In this refinery the feedstock reception and product dispatch will significantly change after installation of a residue conversion unit and various other new processes (amongst others reduced production of fuel oil and increased production of distillates). The EPS review showed that the extend of the required modifications was much less than anticipated by the refinery, which was a welcome surprise.

Turnaround Critical path review

An EPS customer was planning a large scope Turnaround of their residue FCC and associated units. During a one-week site visit, EPS has carried out a TA Critical Path Review on the planned TA activities. It was found that, although the TA activities were well prepared, EPS found unexpected crucial issues in the areas of QA/QC, Commissioning and Hand-over at the end of the TA.

Oil Movement masterplan

An Oil Movements Masterplan and Logistics Review has been carried out by EPS for a customer refinery. It included two site visits of two weeks each, plus working in the home office by 3 consultants. It was an intense period of dedicated work, but the customer was very pleased with the results and clear recommendations. The results were accepted by the Refinery Management team, and this has now resulted in several approved projects. 

HSE review of product loading facilities

EPS has carried out a HSE review of the loading facilities and fire&gas detection systems in an EU customer refinery. The visit was very well received and objectives were met.

Review of safeguarding documentation

EPS has supported a customer refinery with the preparation of safeguarding documents of their amine and LPG facilities. A new safety engineer was trained on-the-job.

Combustion course

EPS has delivered a one week course on combustion technology. The course was given on-site, and was attended by about 20 refinery engineers.

Operational review of olefin plant

EPS has carried out a review of the Olefin plant in a customer refinery. This unit consists of some old and relatively new cracking furnaces. The feedstocks are light naphtha, LPG and hydrowax. Some interesting findings have been made, including opportunities for energy saving and fouling abatement.

Operational review of two Visbreaker units

In June 2016 EPS has carried out an operational review of the Visbreaker units in two different EU customer refineries. In one unit some rigorous revamp options have been considered. For both Visbreaker units good opportunities for improvement have been identified.

Operational review of two CCR Reforming units

EPS has carried out an operational review of the CCR Reforming units in two different EU customer refineries. One unit was an UOP CCR Platformer and the other was an Axens CCR Reformer unit. Several opportunities for improvement have been identified.

Fouling of a sour water stripper

EPS was requested to assist with a serious fouling problem of the sour water stripper in an EU customer refinery. This unit was rapidly fouling, and the stripped water no longer met the discharge specifications, which resulted in stockpiling a large volume of semi-stripped sour water. The fouling occurred on the effluent (stripped water) side, which is unusual. EPS provided a clear analysis of the fouling problem and recommendations. 

Energy management audit and Energy efficiency improvement study

Through a competitive bidding process, EPS has won the tender for an Energy Management Audit and Energy Efficiency Improvement Study for an EU customer refinery. The refinery already had a very low Energy Intensity Index of about 80, partly due to a district heating system delivering excess low level heat to nearby industries.

The EPS work scope consisted of two parts:

  1. A formal audit of the refinery energy management system according the ISO 50001 standard.
  2. Provide opportunities for improvement of the energy efficiency.
    The customer selected EPS because EPS was able to deliver the combination of these two parts. Several EPS consultants were part of the on-site team, and a number of other EPS consultants provided off-site support. The EPS efforts were coordinated by the managing consultant Energy Management, who was onsite in the period 24th October to 11th November 2016. The project was executed very well and to satisfaction of the customer. Various energy efficiency improvement projects have been developed, several of which generate substantial value at no investment. During 2017 EPS will support the refinery with the actual implementation of these projects.

Review of past HSE recommendations

During an one-week site visit to an EU refinery, EPS has carried out a review of recommendations from HSE reviews of the past years. A part of these past recommendations had not been implemented, and the refinery asked for external expert support to prioritise these. EPS phrased this activity as follows: “How does the refinery achieve the best safety improvement at minimum investment, and what needs to be done now and what can be done later”. This work was completed to full satisfaction of the customer.

Remote monitoring of a CCR Platformer unit

During 2016 EPS has been providing remote monitoring support to the CCR Platforming unit of a EU customer refinery. Once per quarter a pre-defined set of operating and laboratory data are provided, and a Remote monitoring report is made by EPS describing trends and observations. The customer values this external review by a Platformer expert, and the contract has been extended for 2017-2018.

Performance testing of a refurbished gas turbine

EPS has supported a customer refinery by witnessing the final performance testing of a new shaft for their gas turbine at the GE workshop in Florence. This new shaft has been transported to the refinery, and EPS has been visiting the refinery to supervise the commissioning of the gas turbine with this new shaft.

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