Hydrogen Reformer Repair

Client Reference

In 2020, Stork was called to help in the evaluation of the damages and to provide support in repairing a damaged hydrogen reformer heater.

After initial inspection, it was recommended to replace all the catalytic tubes as well to repair several cracks on the bottom manifold. Considering that all pipework was made of special alloys aged during several years of operation, a quality welding process and assurance was consider the essence for a successful project.

The client requested Stork to support the damage assessment and to propose repair methods to recover the asset. Promptly Stork Colombia reached back into the Stork and Fluor expert network and identified Fluor’s welding & materials expert Mike Lang as best suited to visit the site and help define the repair scope. Ultimately, the following scopes were defined:

  • Definition of the welding procedures and oversight the welder’s qualification.

  • Provide specialized foreign welders crews to repair the manifold and local welder to repair the catalytic tubes.

  • Deliver the remaining scope consisting of dismantling damaged internals, reassembling the furnace and providing HSE, QA/QC all the logistics.

After qualifying the welding procedures, the foreign welding crew flew in to Colombia to deliver the manifold job. Project was progressing as planned when COVID-19 hit Colombia. At one point, the Colombian government decided to lockdown the whole country and discontinue all international flights. Therefore, the foreign welders were pull out of Colombia on the very last flight leaving to Houston. However, this did leave the manifold only ~60% complete.

A new strategy to complete the remaining manifold activities had to be arranged quickly. It was decided to complete the job with local welders, but of course, only after a rigorous per code assurance process, the local welders successfully completed the remaining job on the manifold. Local welders demonstrated an excellent workmanship delivering excellent quality.

Complexity of the project increased due to COVID, which added, HSE risks, and many logistical threats. But, thanks to the commitment of all parties involved, all the challenges were successfully managed allowing to completed the project  with high standards of HSE and quality in a very tight schedule.

This is a good example of integration with the Client and the different Stork and Fluor’s organizations working with the single focus to solve a problem and add value to our Clients.

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