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FCC Revamps

Nooter Expertise & Teamwork - Major Refinery Fluid Catalytic Cracker (FCC) Revamps

Nooter always challenges its Project Managers, office staff, and craft workers to take project productivity and end result satisfaction to new levels. When it comes to FCC Regenerator maintenance and repair, many industrial facility owners turn to Nooter Construction. With the motto, “To Be Our Customers’ Preferred Choice,” Nooter has developed a specialization in FCC maintenance work.

Turning Obstacles into Opportunity

In late 2010, Nooter was tasked with two simultaneous FCC Regenerator projects — one project in Ohio requiring removal and replacement of an FCC Regenerator head, cyclones and dip legs. The other project in Pennsylvania requiring extensive FCC repair to the regenerator cone, reactor, flue-gas lines and again the removal and re-installation of the Regenerator Head and similar internals.

As resources for both projects were confirmed, the Nooter executive team and project managers, led by Bernie Wicklein, assembled to meet with owner representatives in Ohio to prove Nooter’s dedication to excellence for the upcoming fall 2010 FCC turnaround. The project team, led by Ed Bailey, Jeff Rapert, and Jerry Rother, created an aggressive schedule along with a tight budget. In late April 2010, the contract was awarded to Nooter, a testament to the construction industry’s recognition of Nooter’s FCC repair and maintenance work expertise.

The Pennsylvania project team, headed by Mike Tourville, Johnie Rollins, Marc Hackstadt and Troy Simerley, was also expected to be challenged when given the task of installing new components, rebuilding and re-installing items such as 250-plus feet of flue-gas line and repairs of other components.

Expertise & Teamwork Responsible for Project Successes

With contracts for both projects in place, Nooter project teams hit the ground running in fall 2010. The Pennsylvania project was in progress from August to November 2010. The work included the installation of a new internal combustor cone and riser assembly for the regenerator, removal and installation of a new feed nozzle assembly on the reactor, and the removal and installation of a new steam ring. The project also grew in scope by almost 25 percent due to extra work.

“Our engineering experience was a critical factor to our success in Pennsylvania and serves as an example of what distinguishes Nooter from other companies in the industry. The contract required us to bypass the third-stage cyclones and replace approximately 250 feet of flue-gas line. With more than 25 years of rigging experience, Nooter excels in this area to meet and exceed client requirements,” explained Pennsylvania facility Project Manager Mike Tourville.

In Ohio, the Nooter team started the assembly of the new FCC Regenerator Head and Cyclones in early June. Working a 4/10 schedule, the new head was completed in September.
The head assembly, including the cyclone assembly which was completed with the assistance of RMF Nooter Pipefitters, was a huge success with only one minor first-aid injury over the course of the project. Moreover, the team assembled a new air grid, a new spent catalyst distributor, and a new structure for the installation of a new waste heat boiler that was installed during the fall turnaround.

According to the Nooter Project Manager Shane Doss, “There are several reasons for our overall success within a tight window. The first reason was the great plan developed by Bailey, Rapert, and Rother that was reviewed and agreed to by the entire team in Ohio. The second reason was our strict adherence to Nooter’s welder testing procedure. The new MIG equipment and procedures driven by Mike Rice, Senior Welding Engineer and John Walling, VP Construction, were also important factors.”

The Results Speak for Themselves

The Ohio turnaround was completed on schedule and on budget, insuring future opportunities. While the scope of work increased due to the client approved extra work packages, the owners were pleased.

Steve Marsh, the owner Project Manager, commented,“The Boilermaker and Iron Worker portion went exceedingly well. The regenerator head was finished ahead of schedule, the quality was excellent and the safety record was outstanding.”

The sentiment at the Pennsylvania site was the same. The project was completed on time and on budget. The post shutdown work was scheduled and completed in two weeks as planned, with the facility and its rebuilt FCC Regenerator up and running at full capacity by November 2010.