Izomax performs first intervention in U.S. – Isolation of critical passing valve at refinery in Montana


Flawless planning, mobilization & on-site execution

Zero LTI’s or non-productive time

No hot work required

Asbestos gasket safely handled with decontamination and disposal as per customer and regulatory requirements

No shutdown required

Cost savings estimated at 10m$

A refinery Operator in the Montana region required a solution to address problems with cooling pumps. The process requires one pump in continuous operation with a functional backup. In this instance, two of the pumps had reliability issues with the third pump being inoperable. Due to the pumps being connected to the same main spools, initiating maintenance work was only possible by isolating the valve. Traditional technologies were considered, but judged to likely require a partial plant shutdown and would require major changes to infrastructure including removing roofing.

The Izomax AOGV mechanical isolation system was evaluated and selected to perform an on-site intervention.

A passing valve was causing significant problems at a Montana refinery, where two out of three cooling pumps had reliability issues while the third was inoperable. The refinery was facing outages unless a suitable solution could be found. Furthermore, traditional interventions would require relatively major changes to infrastructure, including removal of roofing, due to accessibility issues.

The client, a Supermajor, had not used the Izomax AOGV mechanical isolation system previously – meaning that a detailed evaluation of the AOGV technology, engineered solution and all processes and procedures would be required.

The application was a high temperature environment with 400 degrees Fahrenheit, with internal pressure in the region of 725 psi.

All three cooling pumps were connected to the same main spools, so initiating maintenance work was only possible by isolating the passing valve. An additional consideration was the asbestos gasket which would require careful handling and disposal.

The customer began an in-depth evaluation of the propriety Izomax AOGV mechanical isolation system, including design, quality, safety, and procedures. The evaluation concluded that the system was conditionally approved for use contingent on application-specific review by site engineers and corporate research staff.

The Izomax team performed a site survey in conjunction with the customer which included 3D scanning. Due to accessibility and space on site, the AOGV integrity clamp was redesigned to allow a safe and efficient operation. Izomax modified an existing 6 inch 300 system to allow for the pressure and temperature ratings required for the intervention. The new 6” 400 system was thoroughly tested and approved by DNV as are all Izomax AOGV systems. As a result, the customer concluded that Izomax have robust technologies, processes and procedures which would be suitable as a solution.

Efficient completion of this project was critical. With one of three pumps inoperable, and the other two pumps carrying reliability problems, the refinery was facing outages. The Izomax AOGV mechanical isolation tool provided the most cost-efficient solution. Fundamentally, the AOGV mitigated the requirement to make major changes to plant infrastructure at significant cost and risk.

The entire operation including site survey, manufacture, testing and execution at the refinery was flawless, with no HSE incidents or non-productive time.

As with the vast majority of Izomax AOGV mechanical isolation work, no hot work was required, saving the operator considerable time and costs related to planning and executing hot work, in addition to mitigating complex HSSE risk. The asbestos identified in the existing gasket was safely disposed of, with an approved decontamination process performed on site. System integrity was maintained throughout the operation, with plant returned to original status and condition.

The Izomax team enabled an estimated cost saving of up to $10m USD as estimated by the client because of avoiding a partial plant shutdown.

The customer has placed repeat orders with Izomax based on the outcomes achieved on this first refinery operation in the U.S.A.

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