30 March 2011

Leading role for Stork in SABIC naphtha cracker turnaround in Geleen

This major turnaround is carried out every six years, and involves thorough and detailed inspection and maintenance works. Total costs of the turnaround for SABIC are approximately 80 million euro, including lost production. “It’s a huge operation”, says Jacques Kemp, Project & Turnaround Manager of SABIC in Geleen. “We’re talking about 310,000 man-hours of work in a three-week period involving 80 contractors, with around 2,000 people working each day. Of that total, 500 are from Stork. Carrying out so many different tasks by so many people in such a short time demands careful planning and organization because of the very great interests involved. Safety has the highest priority, followed by quality and cost. One extra day of downtime costs 600,000 euro in lost production, plus another 400,000 euro in organizational costs.”

The preparations for the stop started more than two years ago. An integrated team from SABIC, Stork and other contractors is working on a structured approach to the stop. The integration of the SABIC and contractor teams eliminates duplication of tasks, with each employee having a specific role for this stop. “SABIC and Stork have been working together for many years to the full satisfaction of both parties”, says Jacques Kemp. “Stork also acted as area prime contractor in earlier cracker stops. They possess many disciplines and work with experienced specialists. Stork also made an important contribution to working with an integrated team in which everyone is committed to jointly achieving the overall result.”

SABIC Manufacturing Geleen

SABIC has 12 production sites in Europe with a total workforce of approximately 6,000, manufacturing plastics and chemical products. The site in Geleen is SABIC’s largest production facility in Europe, with two naphtha crackers and seven downstream plants. The Olefins 3 and Olefins 4 naphtha crackers are at the heart of SABIC’s activities on the Chemelot site in Geleen. Both crackers produce mainly ethylene and propylene for the SABIC polymer plants at Chemelot as well as for external customers. The plastic granulate from these plants forms the basic material for numerous plastics products.