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Midwest Refinery gets a facelift

Submitted to the Boilermaker Reporter by William E. Stubblebine, Technical Services Manager, Madison Industrial Service Team, Ltd.

Boilermakers working for Madison Industrial lift the new reactor into place.

Engineers, planners, fabricators and contractors spent over a year in preparation to complete a major renovation of the FCC Unit at the Phillips 66 Wood River Refinery in Roxana, Illinois, in March and April of 2018.

Six hundred Boilermakers (450 from Local 363 in East St. Louis, Illinois, and another 150 from other locals) were among the more than 3,000 personnel who completed this turnaround safely, on time and on budget.

The units involved with the turnaround had completed a full run and included a fluid catalytic cracking, distillation, coking as well as supporting operational units.

Madison Industrial Services Team, Ltd. was the mechanical contractor tasked with the maintenance and upgrade activities in two of the major areas of work.

Madison used 335 Boilermaker journeymen and apprentices (mechanics, welders and riggers), working with 463 UA pipefitters, welders and apprentices, as well as 46 Operating Engineers, plus Laborers, and Teamsters to accomplish the turnaround work. These skilled craftsmen put in approximately 230,000 man-hours with zero recordable injuries and completed the work two days ahead of schedule and within budget. Madison Project Manager Robert Henderson said, “The craft performance on this job was a testament to the Boilermaker MOST Program and the cooperation among trades on the site, working under the GPPMA agreement.”

The turnaround included one-piece replacement of the reactor vessel, using Deep South’s TC-36000 crane (the seventh largest crane in the United States) and a Liebherr LR-1600 (660 ton) crawler crane to remove the existing 425-ton reactor in one piece. The new reactor was fully shop-fabricated and set in place using the TC-36000 and LR-1600.

TA Coordinator Tom Reuter said, “One key component of the reactor/riser replacement project’s success was the ingenuity of Madison’s supervision to plan and execute the installation of two-thirds of both risers into the structure while the unit was in operation through the fall of 2017.”

Madison also completed the maintenance scope, which included valve and piping jobs, vessel inspections, exchanger cleaning, and the CO heater overhaul. Several capital projects were also completed in parallel with the massive reactor/riser replacement.

Excellent welding productivity and quality by Boilermakers employed by Madison changed the critical path of the project. The installation of a water preheat coil in the lower bay of the SCR box was the “as-planned” critical path of the entire event. The work consisted of installing new outer and intermediate tubesheets, 396 SS tubes and completing 400 welds – all performed in significantly less time than the 12 days originally scheduled.

Contractors GRP and Miller Industrial Services utilized 265 Boilermakers plus support craft in the two other major areas of the turnaround.

All told, the company and contractor teams fielded over 3,000 skilled craft and staff personnel for the successful, six-week, around-the-clock project.