The same vitally important scenario can be seen at large plants, such as refineries, every few years: whole plant sections are temporarily closed down so that they can be overhauled, cleaned and inspected. As was the case at Statoil’s Mongstad refinery in Norway. It had commissioned XERVON’s maintenance specialists to perform extensive tasks – planning, coordinating and implementing the project.
Mongstad refinery is the largest of its kind in Norway and is situated on the west coast approx. 80 kilometres north of Bergen. This was not the first time XERVON Instandhaltung GmbH had travelled to the plant: two years ago, a team of their specialists spent several weeks there carrying out maintenance work, demonstrating their expertise and the high quality of their work. At the beginning of 2016, the company was then awarded a further contract to carry out this far more complex project. This involved a so-called turnaround (i.e. the whole plant had to be shut down) which meant starting the preparation work months in advance.
The state-of-the-art refinery in Mongstad processes around 12 million tonnes of crude oil every year. Most of this oil comes from the continental shelf along the Norwegian coast
XERVON Instandhaltung GmbH was appointed the main contractor giving it full responsibility for the wide variety of tasks that needed to be carried out. These ranged from working on the heat exchangers and air coolers, to servicing containers, columns and furnaces and dismantling and installing fittings, all the way through to performing welding work on the pipes and machines. Besides this, the company was also in charge of planning and coordinating the different tasks as well as all cleaning, inspection, scaffolding, insulation and crane work for the above-mentioned plant sections.
With over 50 years’ experience and more than 500 successfully completed projects under its belt, XERVON Instandhaltung GmbH is a competent partner for plant shutdowns, no matter what their size.
All of XERVON’s activities were carried out in cooperation with Statoil’s own planning team as well as with the other service providers present on site. Once again, the close collaboration between the two REMONDIS companies, XERVON and BUCHEN, proved to be extremely successful. As with so many other joint projects in the past, the BUCHEN specialists were responsible for the industrial cleaning work at Mongstad. All in all, XERVON Instandhaltung GmbH and its partners deployed the biggest team of employees – with 445 specialists travelling to the refinery in Norway to ensure the turnaround was completed successfully.
The extensive range of tasks that XERVON Instandhaltung GmbH was responsible for as the main contractor was performed from 12 to 30 September 2016. This extremely tight schedule was a success in itself with the work being completed in just 19 days. Previous turnarounds had lasted much longer – between 24 and 30 days. Thomas Kramel, managing director of XERVON Instandhaltung GmbH, commented: “We were able to show how the downtime can be reduced and, consequently, how costs can be cut. Whilst always delivering a top quality performance.”
Many of XERVON’S employees moved into temporary accommodation close to the refinery whilst they planned and executed the project.
Besides delivering high quality work and keeping to the agreed budget and schedule for the Norwegian turnaround project, the company also gave top priority to all matters concerning work safety. Their task here was to ensure that all those working on the project adhered to the stringent safety regulations at all times. The smart system used by the company to approve and allow the different tasks to be carried out is just one example of the many measures they had in place to make sure this was the case. There were also very strict rules regulating how the work itself should be performed. The tools, for example, had to be attached to special devices to prevent them from falling down. Despite all this, the XERVON team performed their work in the usual fast and reliable manner. Two years ago, the refinery operators had singled out the company expressing their great satisfaction with XERVON’s stringent safety standards and professionalism – once again they were able to reaffirm the high quality of their services.
Mongstad is owned by Statoil. Established in 1972, Statoil is the largest oil and gas company in the Nordic countries and has business operations all around the world. The refinery is also home to a pilot plant which is currently looking at storing carbon dioxide in the sea bed as a means to help curb global warming. Mongstad’s oil terminal acts as a temporary storage facility for many of Norway’s oil fields and is the second-largest transhipment port for crude oil in Europe following Rotterdam.