Case Study: Mossmoran Chemical Plant
The heat is on
CUSTOMER: ExxonMobil Mossmoran chemical plant
Detected on a critical line, operating at pressures of up to 84 bar g (1220psi) and temperatures of some 480C, the small crack had formed between the 16 inch pipe and the weldolet that attached it to a 20 inch header. Although the repair was not termed immediately dangerous by ExxonMobil engineers, repair was clearly essential and, given the operating pressures and temperatures involved, it was initially thought that shutdown was the only option.
The plant at Mossmorran converts the ethane from liquid gas pumped in from offshore, into ethelyene – a fundamental ‘building block’ of the petrochemical industry. Shutdown would not only mean significant costs in terms of lost production but also, to avoid ceasing offshore production, the excess ethane would have to be flared, wasting precious product and raising environmental and community issues.