Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Exchanger changeout.

Last week was a very busy week as we had to replace a damaged heat exchanger with a new one. The problem started with a leak from the tubes and as the product mixed with water and produces acid, it ate up the equipment.
Now, is replacing a 53000kgs heat exchanger easy? Sounds easy.Preparations had to be carried out from the heavy lifting to the structural installations and of course manpower used for the job. The first thing needed was scaffolding to access the flange connections and the insulation which had to be fully removed.

Another problem started when the insulation was removed, no lifting trunnion! The lifting 'ear' is to secure the wire ropes so that lifting can be carried out without using the support lugs and also for tailing purposes. So how? Engineers had to be called in for the design and fabrication of the trunnion. Good thing that Wong from TC helped out the expediting of the trunnion fabrication.

The newly installed trunnion.

The trunnion was completed after 4 days of waiting and now the lifting part. With a 400T crane for main lifting and a 160T crane for tailing, everything was ready. The exchanger had to be lifted up for about 3", then only the structure could be removed. In about 2 hrs, the structure was not fully removed but all bolts was removed and the beams was moved to the side for a bigger opening during lifting. Some hiccups was evident as the nozzles and bellow cover was slightly bigger than the diameter of the tubesheet.

The 'hole' after lifting.

Safely down.

The new exchanger was in place at about 6pm, and the structure had to be installed before lowering the exchanger in place. The job was completed at 11pm. Thank goodness there were no incidents.

A job well done goes to the Plant Workshop team and all the supporting contractors in this project. Syabas!

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