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Massive Phillips 66 refinery upgrade nears completion

“It’s hard to duplicate that type of [welding and fitting] quality even in a shop environment. These guys are doing an awesome job.”
— Shane Westefer, Nooter Account Manager

BOILERMAKERS RIG RISERS (used to carry catalyst and oil) prior to installing the new reactor.

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Boilermakers erect, install 850-ton reactor at New Jersey site

BOILERMAKER CREWS ARE being hailed for extraordinary quality workmanship and safety performance as a mammoth project to replace a 70-year-old reactor at the Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery in Linden, New Jersey, comes to a close.

Local 28 (Newark, New Jersey) BM-ST Jim Chew says the Boilermakers’ involvement began with a nucleus of members employed by Nooter Construction going onsite in 2016 to perform preparatory work that included assembling the 850-ton reactor. The unit had been prefabricated in a shop, cut into pieces and shipped by barge to the refinery.

By early 2018, Boilermakers were had removed the old reactor, and on Feb. 24th they set the new reactor into place. Plant-wide, more than 500 Boilermakers worked on various systems and components. Traveling members from across the United States participated in the effort.

Boilermakers employed by JJ White reconfigured and made repairs to heat exchangers, towers, drums and gas coolers. Members working for Miller Industrial Service Team replaced a section of a process tower, provided drum inspections and repairs, and repaired heaters and the wet gas scrubber.

But the highlight of the two-year project was the colossal reactor lift, which required one of the largest cranes in the world, the Lampson LTL-2600, configured with 7 million pounds of counterweight.

“This is the first time I know of that this area has replaced a reactor of this size. It is a big deal,” said L-28 General Foreman Adam Bowman. “It’s thousands of feet of welding; it’s tons of steel that we’ve had to rig and move and fit. The Boilermakers [on this project] should be very satisfied. We had guys step up and lead this job the way we needed it to be done. They should all be very proud.”

“They’re excellent craftsmen, and the things they do impress me every day.”
— Derrek Wiedeman, Phillips 66 Project Engineer

Nooter Account Manager Shane Westefer praised the extraordinary workmanship in fitting and welding the new reactor sections at the project site.

“It’s hard to duplicate that type of quality even in a shop environment.”

Westefer added, “These guys are doing an awesome job. We’re working in a live unit, which presents its own challenges. These guys put the safety systems in place, and we were able to build probably 80 percent of the project while the unit was running, so that when you get into the turnaround, you minimize the amount of downtime that the equipment is out of service.” BM-ST Chew said the “world-class weld quality played a key part in bringing the project in ahead of schedule.”

Added Phillips 66 project engineer Derrek Wiedman: “They’re excellent craftsmen, and the things they do impress me every day. Between the rigging and the welding, they have to have a lot of experience to pull a job like this off.”

The new reactor will improve the efficiency of the Bayway Refinery’s fluidized catalytic cracking (FCC) process or “cat cracker” that separates crude oil into products such as transportation fuels, petrochemical feedstocks, residual fuel oil and home heating oil.

Bayway boasts the largest FCC in the Western Hemisphere, according to Phillips 66 Refinery Manager Mike Bukowski. The 238,000-barrel-per-day refinery covers a two-square-mile area along New York Harbor.

A video of this project produced by Wide Awake Films can be viewed below.