Mammoet completes heavy lifting for turnaround at Riyadh refinery

Utrecht-headquartered Mammoet, an expert in engineered heavy lifting and transport has completed heavy lifting activities for the turnaround at Saudi Arabian Oil Company’s (Saudi Aramco) Riyadh refinery.

The Dutch firm was appointed by Al Rushaid Construction Company (ARCC), a Saudi industrial construction, maintenance, and fabrication firm to assist with the turnaround at the refinery.

Earlier, in 2018, Mammoet was awarded a contract by Jacobs Zate, the FEED and project management consultant (PMC) to complete a route survey and lifting study.

Saudi Aramco’s Riyadh refinery is one of oldest grassroots refineries in the kingdom, and has a capacity of 126,000 barrels per day (bpd). The refinery was built as early as the late 1970s, and now some of its existing equipment have clocked the end of its mechanical life.

This resulted in the oil-giant, plan maintenance at the refinery, including the upgrade of its hydroprocessing capabilities. The upgrades are designed to maximise low-sulfur content production, as part of the company’s programme to comply with an ever-increasing demand for globally compliant fuels.

A complex project as such, it included the replacement of eight reactor vessels with unknown levels of deterioration.

Mammoet conducted a lifting study to analyse the stresses that would be imposed on the reactors. Upon which, the company proposed using two-point lifting trunnions that would provide sufficient capacity to ‘lift and tail’ the reactor vessels safely.

The scope included the removal and replacement of existing refinery components, as well as the installation of new components, new foundations, and platform structures.

A total of 109 lifts went into the project, which were performed for three different scopes, including the replacement of eight hydrocracker reactors, 12 exchangers, and two platformer exchangers.

During a 40-day turnaround period, Mammoet transported and lifted the old components and their replacements within a congested refinery, amid the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The work had been performed within an operating refinery, adhering to very stringent safety rules and regulations.

Mammoet deployed separate cranes, trailers, and crews for each area in order to perform the scope, and ensure continuity of operations.

The Dutch firm removed eight of the existing hydrocracker reactors, and installed new replacements, each weighing 450 tonnes, as part of the critical work on-site.

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