Oil & Gas

Subcategory: Equipment Installation & Rebuilds

ExxonMobil – Electrostatic Precipitator Project Phase 2

Client: ExxonMobil

Location: Torrance, California

Scope: On February 18 of 2015 the HRC designed ESP at the ExxonMobil Torrance CA Refinery had an explosion rendering the unit incapable of performing its primary function. This in turn means that the FCC cannot be restarted until the ESP is rebuilt and operational. The explosion blew off all 8 plenums, damaged all internals, and caused severe structural damage. AZCO was charged with the task of rebuilding the unit and returning it into service.

After the initial assessment and clean-up/removal of potentially harmful falling debris, AZCO along with ExxonMobil attending meetings with the EPA, CSB, OSHA, and the AQMD in attempts to supply the agencies with the information that they requested so the repairs could begin. AZCO took the lead in establishing the internal demolition sequence to ensure that the inspectors were never in harm’s way.

The demolition of the internals involved the removal of 960 collecting electrodes (plates), 9360 rigid discharge electrodes, 48 high voltage frames, 96 rapper assembles, 48 lower steadying frames, 48 sealing baffles, and 2 complete partition walls. The demolition was sequenced and coordinated in a manner that opened up fields for inspection and ensured that the rigging paths never put any individual under a load being rigged.

After the full inspection AZCO began to sequence the structural repairs. 38 of the 42 support columns were repaired or replaced. Temporary bracing/shoring was required for each one along with a sequence that allowed the unit to maintain structural integrity throughout. 4 hoppers were completely replaced while the other 44 required repairs of varying scopes. 12 partition wall top beams were replaced. 4 top end frames were replaced. 2 top supporting baffles were replaced. 8 bottom end frames were replaced. 4 bottom supporting baffles. 2 complete partition walls. 24 sections of end wall casing and supports. 24 struts. 48 sway/X braces, and a portion of the hot roof. Once the box was returned to “like new” condition and inspection was complete, AZCO began to repopulate the ESP.

Repopulating the ESP involved reinstalling the 960 collecting electrodes, 9360 rigid discharge electrodes, and all associated frames and rappers. Once the ESP was repopulated AZCO reinstalled the 8 plenums. AZCO coupled the plenum sections together onsite to expedite the welding and reduce the number of critical lifts from 8 to 4.

All electrodes on the ESP were aligned, rappers replaced, and the unit was returned to service. This was accomplished with precise planning and coordination.