Project of the Year Fluor to Rejoice at Distinguished Refinery Project

Editor: Dr. Jörg Kempf

The Project Management Institute has selected Chevron’s El Segundo Refinery Coke Drum Reliability Project as its 2015 Project of the Year. Fluor served as the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contractor, in addition to performing initial studies and front-end design work. What are the details?

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Cause for celebration at Fluor's headquarter
Cause for celebration at Fluor's headquarter
(Picture: Fluor)

Irving, Texas/USA – The project replaced six coke drums and incorporated seismic upgrades to the coker structure at Chevron’s El Segundo Refinery in California. The vertical project required extensive scaffolding and 15 major lifts that ranged from 166 tons to 500-plus tons, and took place at heights of more than 250 feet. The project was completed four months ahead of schedule, $7 million under budget, with no serious injuries and with no disruption to the plant’s operations.

“Through close collaboration with Chevron and all stakeholders, we met a significant challenge and helped deliver this project ahead of schedule, under budget and, most importantly, safely,” said Jim Brittain, president of Fluor’s Energy & Chemicals business in the Americas. “Fluor takes on the world’s most complex and challenging projects, and the logistical and safety challenges of this project were second to none.”

The project team developed an innovative logistics plan to transport the new drums to the site — reducing the distance from 22 miles to 4.5 miles to minimize inconveniences to the community. Once at the site, old drums were removed and the new 95-foot-tall drums, which are three times as heavy as the Space Shuttle Endeavor, were installed. The project also removed a 1-million-pound, six-derrick structure and cutting deck that covered the coke drums. The removal took place in one lift, with a 400-foot tall crane, the largest ever brought to Southern California.

The project used interactive planning sessions, safety commitment workshops, cutting-edge technology and strict scaffolding safety guidelines to complete with no serious incidents or lost-time injuries.

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