01 Feb 2019

How Can Refineries Utilize Power More Efficiently During Turnarounds?

refinery canopy petrochem

Refineries rely on well-functioning equipment and processes that work without a hitch. 

Turnarounds are a vital part of ensuring your refinery runs at its best. Otherwise, you’re at risk of your equipment breaking down, resulting in missed production quotas and lost revenue

Turnarounds are a sensitive time for refineries - if they go on for too long or run over budget, it can have drastic consequences for your bottom line. So how can you avoid this? What strategies can you put in place to keep your output stable? And how can you make sure downtime is kept to an absolute minimum? 

Temporary Power Solutions

For many refineries, keeping associated processes running while a turnaround is taking place is not just important, it’s absolutely vital.  Because MCC and substation maintenance activities typically occur when units come down for turnaround, finding and evaluating cost effective alternatives for power become critical.  

This might mean implementing a temporary power solution, like one refinery had to during maintenance on its switchgear and Motor Control Centers. 

Safe and efficient power additions were designed and installed based on the specific load requirements of the equipment. This led to a drastic reduction in excess costs and meant the plant could keep running safely during the turnaround. 

Another refinery in the Midwest also implemented temporary power solutions during a turnaround. Any downtime would have meant hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost revenue. 

After a site analysis and customer inputs, Aggreko designed a system that would provide N+1 redundancy and a 100% reliability.  This solution allowed plant process equipment to continue running and to optimize the power supply on site. As a result, there was absolutely no downtime at all which meant no loss in revenue. 

Temporary power solutions give refineries the space to carry out maintenance without seeing a drop in production levels. Because refineries and their processes are mandated by regulatory bodies, it’s important they’re done properly to prevent any accidents and to ensure all equipment meets warranty requirements. 

If you operate a refinery, you know that turnarounds are a routine part of business. Regularly ensuring equipment is up to standard keeps the equipment (and your team) safe and makes sure that processes run smoothly for the foreseeable future. 

However, for many refinery operators, turnarounds mean a loss of revenue and a halt in operations - but that doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, there are plenty of solutions - including temporary power solutions - that mean you can keep processes running like normal and avoid any downtime or loss in revenue.