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EDL Leipzig successfully completes four revamp projects during PCK shutdown 2016

The ability of EDL Anlagenbau Gesellschaft mbH (EDL), from Leipzig, Germany, as a revamp specialist for process plants was most recently demonstrated, in April 2016 when the TÜV shutdown "kleiner 16" took place at PCK Raffinerie GmbH Schwedt. PCK invested EUR 129m to modernize its refinery and awarded four projects in the FCC plant and crude oil distilla-tion unit 1 to EDL. These projects were to be completed simultaneously.

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[Translate to Englisch:] Transport eines Regeneratorteils (16 m lang, Ø 9,5 m) über die Behelfsüberfahrt

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[Translate to Englisch:] Vormontierter Regeneratortisch mit einem Gewicht von 168 t

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[Translate to Englisch:] Die Rohöl1-Anlage kurz vor der Fertigstellung. Mit neuer Kolonne, die in Modulbauweise errichtet wurde, ist sie mit 71 m eines der höchsten Bauwerke der Raffinerie.

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[Translate to Englisch:] Die vier Module nebeneinander, vor dem Zusammensetzen auf „der Straße der Kolonnen“

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[Translate to Englisch:] Einheben des Mittelteils der Vakuumkolonne 1K6

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The shutdown at PCK was to achieve a greater reliability and safety of the plant units and systems and boost the plant output, e.g. the higher flexibility of the FCC process, better energy efficiency and a deeper crude processing for a better utilization of the valuable feedstock. A total of 19 plant units were under close scrutiny. An estimated 2 500 fitters, engineers and employees of the refinery were involved in the shutdown phase for four weeks. Among them the long-time engineering partner EDL who handled as many as four projects in parallel.  

At the same time EDL / Pörner performed another three major modernization projects at OMV in Austria during the refinery shutdown in Schwechat: a desulfurization reactor was replaced and the crude oil distillation unit RD4 and the DEA2 unit were revamped.

Revamp of Crude 1 (Rohöl1) and FCC plant

In spring 2015 EDL was entrusted by PCK Raffinerie GmbH with the technologically demanding planning of the revamp. The job included:

  • the replacement of the vacuum column at the Crude 1 unit. The scope of work comprised of the basic and detail engineering packages, procurement as well as construction and erection supervision.  
  • the replacement of the regenerator of the FCC plant. Here, too, EDL was in charge of the detail engineering package, procurement services as well as construction and erection supervision. 

To round off the work package for the complex 2016 shutdown, two other projects were handled by EDL. At the Crude 1 unit, it was the replacement of the stripper column and the LCO Recovery project at the FCC plant. 


FCC plant: Master logistical performance  

The regenerator replacement project inside the FCC plant was once more a huge challenge in term of logistics. Along the plant roads, plenty of pipe bridge crossings were to be traversed, these however,  were too low for the oversize regenerator components (16m long and up to 9.5m in diameter) to fit underneath. To avoid the costly lifting of the parts over the pipe bridges, two existing ground-level pipelines were built over. After two months of construction using 100 m3 concrete and 1,400 m3 mixed gravel, the four regenerator components each weighing up to 270 MT were moved over the temporary drive-over bridges. The crossing height was 2.2 m and it was an impressive structure that was stripped down afterwards.

The entire regenerator section split into five heavy-weight lifts was dismantled within eight days. During this time all peripheral installations were removed. To this end separating cuts were made at the regenerator. The upper and lower sections of it were lifted, placed onto temporary foundations, the existing reinforced concrete table cut apart, lifted in two parts and then carried away. The weights to be moved were impressive: upper section 219 MT, lower section 230 MT, two-part reinforced concrete table 225 MT + 207 MT.

The reinstallation of the new regenerator section was done in four parts. To meet the ambitious time schedule, the regenerator table was pre-assembled as a module (16.5 x 11.5 x 9.2 m weighing 168 MT) and the piping that was 80 % complete was lifted by the 1,800 MT main crane into the plant. Then, the new, also pre-dressed regenerator components (lower section 290 MT, upper section 370 MT) were put in place and the periphery complemented.   

One of the biggest problems for the dismantling and fitting of the geometrically large components was the narrow space. It could only be managed by the prior well-planned exact sequence of the lifting, placing and shifting of old and new components in conjunction with the weight-dependent crane conversions.  

Parallel to the regenerator activities, the heat exchanger module (10 x 10 x 5.6 m, 80 MT) that came 95 % pre-dressed with piping, electrical systems and instrumentation as a ready-made structural steel module was lifted into the plant and connected.  

On 24 April 2016 the mechanical completion records for the "Regenerator Replacement" and "LCO Recovery" projects of the FCC plant could be by the client.   

Crude 1 unit: Optimized prefabrication with 16 modules

Upon completion of the engineering and procurement activities the construction site for the Crude 1 unit was opened on 1 June 2015: the critical stage had begun.   

As in all current projects of PCK the modular building system was employed re-quiring, parallel to the planning of the complete plant, an in-depth detailed sched-uling of the dismantling and installations activities during the shutdown. When it came to the vacuum column 1K6 over six months – from July to December 2015 – 16 individually prefabricated shell sections were supplied by water and road. They were welded together in a dropout area specifically provided with foundations, and complemented with internals and attachments, such as steel platforms, piping and electrical equipment and instrumentation. The dropout area was also used to prefabricate a new stair tower in form of four structural steel modules.


Activities during shutdown

Work during shutdown began on 4 April 2016, 06:00 a.m. with the dismantling of both columns 1K3, 1K6.   On 7 April the new stripping column 1K3 provided with internals, platforms and insulation was put in place und mounted on its foundation. On 10 April the first module – the new lower section of 1K6 and the first staircase module could be installed according to schedule. The central section of the 1K6 could be put in place next morning.  

Thus, column components and staircase modules were installed in turns. On the evening of the 14 April 2016 the new vacuum column stood on the upgraded concrete table and the staircase tower put together from 4 individual modules on the existing condenser table and could be released for the follow-up disciplines.     

On 29 April the Crude 1 unit including the new vacuum column could be handed over.


Successful and anything but „klein“ 

Though the shutdown was named "kleiner" (small) it was the EDL scope of work alone that made it VERY big, seeing that equipment of a total weight of 700 MT was dismantled and equipment of about 1,000 MT newly installed, steel structures of approx. 500 MT installed, 2,300 MT concrete and 1,900m3 recycling materials used for the hardstand of the crane. EDL and its client PCK and the sub-contractors can be proud of having completed these four revamp projects on time, within the agreed budget, with optimal quality and without any accident and of this first-class reference.   

But the best recompense for the planner is a satisfied customer who appreciates the achievements. 

"… Thanks goes to all colleagues who have contributed to this success and the colleagues of the partner companies who in any wind and weather over four weeks dedicated themselves to the PCK-TÜV project with diligence, determination, discipline and with the necessary fun. It was a pleasure to work with service providers who are brilliant…" (Josef Maily, PCK Managing Director and Thomas Schulze, Shutdown Manager)


The PCK shutdown 2016 in figures

  • Plant shutdown: 04 - 30 April 2016
  • Costs of TÜV shutdown: € 129m in total
  • Hours worked: 750, 000 in total
  • Cranes used: 85
  • Tested pressure vessels: 682
  • Checked heat exchangers: 380
  • Weight of replaced equipment: 2,600 MT


Facts of the four EDL projects:

Equipment (including piping/platforms etc.) featuring a total weight of 700 MT dismantled and about 1,000 MT newly installed, approx. 500 MT steel structures built up, 2,300 MT concrete and 1,900m3 recycling materials used for the crane hardstand.


Media echo (excerpt):

Erdöl Erdgas Kohle (Ausg. 10/2016) (DE)
Process 06/09/2016 (DE)
Process 22/05/2016 (Contract given) (EN)


Mag. Lydia Brandtner

Head of Marketing
Pörner Group
Tel.: +43 5 05899-718