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Performing work at a non-stop BRZO company Challenged Chemical Engineering

A huge challenge

Getting on with it, in an environment where chemical substances are used. The integration of a regeneration installation within the existing tank farm and the construction of an additional tank farm for the storage of regenerated liquids such as ethanol, methanol, toluene, ether and THF. Christian Hospers from Iv-Industrie tells us about SHE specialists, LEL meters and a skid that he’ll never get tired of talking about.
 
 “That was the best part and the most challenging too. The placing of the skid at Aspen’s new regeneration installation in Oss. Ten by four and twenty metres high", says Christian Hospers, Project Manager at Iv-Industrie. “The steel structure is lifted, and you just have to hope that the foot plates will fit onto the anchor bolts and that all this preparation had not been for nothing. The bolts are tightened and then, yes, that’s it. This was the first part, then the other part followed, and finally the stairwell, this really was an enormous challenge.”
 

Logistics and safety

The assignment for Iv-Industrie is clear. Integrate the skid within the existing tank farm and design and realise a new storage facility for regenerated solvents at the De Geer location. Christian: “We had to link the new installation to the existing systems. For this, we had to realise around 50 tie-ins on existing solvent pipelines. While the production at Aspen continued as usual.” Logistically, this was an enormous challenge at a plant that doesn’t stop. “The tank farm remained in use. Trucks continued to load and unload which had to be taken into consideration when planning. After all, you are working in an environment with chemical substances. Safety was the highest priority in everything, and yes, this made the work a little more complex."

SHE specialists and LEL meters

Aspen is a BRZO company. It is covered by the Seveso-III-Directive, a directive that aims at the prevention of major accidents involving dangerous substances. “That means that everything you do is carefully examined with a large magnifying glass, so to speak. The advantage of this is that it keeps you incredibly sharp”, says Christian, who with his men was intensively supervised by internal SHE specialists who pay close attention to the Safety, Health, Environment (SHE) regulations. Including all the safety standards for every supplier and sub-suppliers of Aspen. “During the welding activities that took place in the tank farm for several weeks, we placed an LEL (Lower Explosion Level) meter with 16 gas detectors situated at the highest point, this to provide a continuous measurement. Based on the location where we were operative, these were assessed every day in combination with, for example, the wind direction. The LEL meters keep a close eye on these risks."

From nothing to the end result

"From nothing to the end result." This is what made the project extra special for Christian. “We have done everything within a time slot of two years. Always nice; such large projects. You take on more ownership too because you're right in the middle of it. You know everything about the project.” For six months, he himself was nearly always present at the De Geer location. Christian: “The size of the project really suited me and all disciplines from civil and groundwork to process and piping were united in it. Everything was just small enough to be closely involved in all that was happening.”

The extensive article can be found in our magazine.

Would you like to know more about this project? Dick will be pleased to share ideas with you about this matter. Contact him via  088 943 3700 or send an email.
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