PETROCHEMICALS: Chevron Refinery's Maintenance Project
Recent Western Cape Business News
The Chevron Refinery in Milnerton, Cape Town, will undergo a routine maintenance and inspection over a 43 day period from 17 February 2012 until the first week of April 2012.
Maintenance and safety inspections are carried out annually, where operations are discontinued to allow scheduled maintenance on specified operating units at the refinery. This annual inspection period ensures that the equipment at the refinery is safe and reliable. A major inspection takes place every four years which allows for more detailed work to be carried out. The next inspection of this magnitude will take place in 2014.
“An immense amount of planning has gone into this year’s maintenance and safety inspections, as an integral part of our planning we have put measures in place to ensure an adequate supply of fuel products during this period. Chevron has been consulting with fuel suppliers in South Africa in addition to working closely with government on the current supply issue.” says Steven Parker, General Manager of Chevron’s Cape Town refinery.
Parker explains that for the first 14 Days the production units will be down so the platformer catalyst regeneration and Diesel/Kerosine Hydrotreater catalyst replacement can take place. Then during the remaining 29 Days only five production units will be down for cleaning, inspection, repairs and modifications. These units include the Crude Distillation Unit, Vacuum Distillation Unit, Fluid Catalytic Cracker Unit, Isomerisation Unit and Jet Merox Unit.
The entire safety and maintenance inspection will cost approximately R210 million, of which R155 million will be directly injected into the Western Cape economy. Approved onsite contractors will take on an additional 640 contract workers which include 195 Artisans; 380 Semi Skilled workers and 65 unskilled workers. Increasing the workforce on site at various stages of the inspection to 1200 employees.
“Chevron is committed to managing a safe and reliable refinery and therefore conducts its scheduled maintenance in a safe and secure manner that is consistent with international best practices. Although it is unlikely that nearby residents, businesses and commuters will experience anything out of the ordinary during the six week maintenance period, in an effort to engage proactively with the surrounding communities, we would like to draw their attention to the following relevant information related to our planned maintenance period,” concludes Parker.
Since additional contractors will be working at the refinery during the maintenance and inspection period, it is expected that there will be an increase in traffic activity at the refinery’s north entrance located off Koeberg Road and adjacent to the Caltex Service Station. Increased levels of traffic are likely to occur during the hours of 06:00-06:45 and 18:00-18:45 during the period from 17 February 2012 to the first week of April 2012. Commuters travelling on Koeberg Rd in both directions (Table View/Blouberg or Milnerton) are likely to be affected. In order to ease any potential congestion, Chevron has made arrangements with the Cape Town Metropolitan Police to provide directional assistance on Koeberg Road during this period and at these specified times.
On certain occasions during the maintenance and inspection period, higher noise levels than usual may occur as a result of sandblasting work that is scheduled to be carried out as well as activities involving heavy-lift machinery such as cranes and trucks. Chevron has made every effort to ensure that these activities are kept to a minimum and are only scheduled during the day.
Chevron places the highest priority on the health and safety of its employees and the communities in which it operates and takes every possible precaution to mitigate unnecessary or unplanned emissions.
All refinery emissions are independently monitored and the refinery adheres to the South African environmental authorities’ guidelines and legislation as well as the more stringent World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for emissions.
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