04 Sep Case Study: Industrial Gas Company Infrastructure
Innovative solutions needed for replacing aging piping infrastructure while maximizing uptime and solving long-term issues
When our Client approached Chemic to help with reimagining the systems at their Houston Cogen facility that carried the lifeblood for their massive boilers and generators, we knew we had the right people onboard our team to tackle what was a seriously complicated Issue.
The fuel gas boiler feedwater and steam systems at the facility had been in service continuously for nearly 30 years. Further, some sections of the fuel gas system had been operating for nearly 40 years. To complicate matters even more, the system was not designed to allow for periodic maintenance and had deteriorated as a consequence. The 12” bi-directional gas line, boiler letdown area, and cogen header needed to be replaced or repaired. Because of the design of the header systems, large sections of the piping could not be isolated without bringing down a large majority of the plant’s operating units. Any repairs to this piping could only occur during large plant outages that would require simultaneous steam customer pipeline outages. This limited the site from making repairs and from performing scheduled maintenance and inspections. In a word, the plant operators had limited options and time was not on their side.
Chemic’s design team found the perfect balance
Along with targeted redesign of the systems to provide future flexibility, the natural seasonal downtime of the cogen facility provided the opportunity to develop a plan for replacing the aging infrastructure. This holistic reimagining of the entire system and detailed planning allowed for the installation of numerous block valves, bypasses, new metering, relief valves and more, minimizing the tapping of lines while they were in-service.
Workability, maintainability, adaptability restored
A site that had been constrained by past design issues was now ready for the future. By breaking this very complicated project down into a program of work where each solution was crafted by the Chemic design team specifically to minimize cost and maximize future impact, a series of uniquely timed events were able to take place during many different construction windows. Each construction window was accompanied not only by an engineering design package but also was arranged into a project plan that allowed for the vision not to get lost in implementation.
Matching up the right people and processes to help solve a client problem has always been Chemic’s strength. Now, Chemic has carried on its heritage with a commitment to solving its customer’s biggest problems, while tailoring a solution unique to them.