Start of turnaround at Total Energies Olefins Antwerp
Europe's third largest refinery contracted Altrad to erect scaffolding and to carry out insulation work. Over the past few months, our people have worked very hard to complete all the preparations, to ensure that the turnaround at TEOA can be off to a good start.
What exactly is a turnaround?
In industries that rely on large-scale plants for their production, companies routinely schedule planned outages or shutdowns: periods in which entire parts of the operation are taken out of service to perform necessary maintenance work. This is called a ‘turnaround’. Turnarounds are an essential part of the production process, as they allow to keep operations running in a sustainable manner.
The turnaround process includes a full cycle of operations preparations work. Multiple parties are involved and a lot of (external) manpower is needed. People work under great time pressure as it is essential that preparations are completed efficiently and within the agreed timeline. Indeed, each day that elements of production are shut down means loss of revenue, which makes turnarounds a highly expensive affair.
How did the Altrad team proceed?
In order to prepare the overhaul of the unit, the engineering work for the erection of 7 scaffold towers around the client’s installations started last year. Then, last November, Altrad staff started assembling the 90,000 cubic metres of scaffolding material.
What was the challenge?
The large volume of scaffolding, and the fact that our colleagues had to erect it on a relatively small surface and in areas that were difficult to access, certainly presented a challenge. The height of the scaffolding (60-to 70 m) and the fact that it had to be erected while the plant was fully operational, complicated matters even further. A team of on average 70 professionals managed this remarkable, achievement, right on schedule.
Now that phase 3 of the turnaround has started, it is important that we continue to focus on safety and quality in order to successfully reach the next milestone.
Meanwhile, we received congratulations from TEOA who named us partner/contractor of the week. This was quite a feat, given the massive activities now underway.
Currently, the internal scaffolding around the installations is being moved as the work progresses. This stage will involve the dismantling and subsequent assembly of insulation by our staff.
A great compliment
Never before has the dismantling and assembly of, very specifically, Foamglas insulation been awarded to a single contractor. This is further proof of the trust our client places in our services.
Project Manager Scaffolding: Thomas Van den Heuvel
Project Manager Insulation: Kevin Roovers
Site manager: John Goetheer
Site manager: Mohammed Islam
Safety Supervisor: Abzik Abdeslam