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Case Study

Enhancing MCCs Load Capacity
for Steam Turbine Fan Motors

INTECH’s Turnkey Solution for Oil & Gas Turnaround Project

Project Brief

Project Name
Enhancing MCCs Load Capacity for Steam Turbine Fan Motors: INTECH’s Turnkey Solution for Oil & Gas Turnaround Project

Client Name
Undisclosed

Location
West Africa

Industry
Oil & Gas: Upstream

Facility
GTL facility in West Africa that began first production in 2014 and is an integral part of the client’s gas use strategy which includes natural gas sales as well as sales of GTL products.

Customer’s Question

As part of a major turnaround for 2024, the end user, a major global oil & gas company, planned to increase the output of steam turbines at its facility by replacing a total of 16 ACC fan motors, 200 HP each, with new 250 HP motors, driven by VSD and sofstarter. The end-user required a turnkey solution to upgrade the existing MCCs for supporting the enhanced load.

Urgent Timelines
Since this project was part of a TAR, timelines were critical as the end-user would have faced a daily loss of 1.5 to 1.8 million USD in case of any delays.

Scope
Provision of new type-tested MCCs, Electrical infrastructure upgrade, Current transformer upgrade, End-to-end project management

Benefits Delivered

  1. 4-6 weeks of costs & time saved through successful implementation of alternative solution, necessitated by the unavailability of originally required, type-tested MCCs.
  2. Alternative cable-core & cabling formation deployed on a 3D-model enabled route to navigate space related challenges, emanating from busduct replacement.
  3. Assisted client in supervising SIMOPS related coordination to ensure zero-incident project execution while protecting personnel & safety
  4. Timely resolution of switchgear issues and Motor VSD + soft starter related issues with OEM and client team, respectively.
  5. Extensive logistics support & mobilization of backup resources for the client to support in activities peripheral to original scope of work.

Scope of work

INTECH’s scope of work included:

Provision of new type-tested MCCs: New Type-tested MCCs from Rockwell Automation Centerline 2100 Series (2500 Amperes Bus rating) with 6 VSDs and 10 Softstarters, suitable for end-user process requirements.

Electrical infrastructure upgrade: Replacement of the existing 2000-ampere busduct with a higher-capacity 2500-ampere busduct. Later, this was replaced with a power cable solution along with cable trays and cable termination boxes.

Current transformer upgrade: Replacement of current transformers within the existing switchgear from 2000/5 amperes to higher-capacity 2500/5 amperes.

End-to-end project management: End-to-end EPC&C services that aligned with customer goals and industry best practices to ensure smooth project execution from design to commissioning.

INTECH-MCC-Upgrade-Downstream-facility-Africa

Project Execution

Phase 1 – Site Survey & Planning

In the initial phases of the project, INTECH conducted a thorough site survey to get insights into existing infrastructure and space availability. This enabled INTECH’s team to understand the area layout, evaluate the condition of the current MCCs, and develop a methodic approach for their dismantlement and replacement with new units.

Phase 2 – Design & Procurement Challenges & Solutions

Challenges

1. Unavailability of the Required Rockwell Automation Type-Tested Main Incoming Unit:
Rockwell Automation identified that they did not have the Main incoming unit of same specs that was Type tested. This was the foremost challenge faced during the project’s initial stages, which impacted all the subsequent phases of the project.

 

2. Replacement of Busducts with Power Cables
Implementation of an alternative lower rating unit required the replacement of busducts with power cables to effectively manage short-circuit current flow from the main switchgear to the MCCs. To limit short-circuit current, the client requested at least 20 meters of cable length for each MCC. However, this shift in approach posed complexities related to cable routing due to the substation’s low height and congested network of cable trays.

Solutions

1.  Lower Rating Unit to save 4-6 weeks of time & costs
Since Rockwell intimated that they needed an additional 4 to 6 weeks to conduct the required type tests, INTECH utilized Rockwell’s quoted lower rating unit to mitigate delays. While this decision had a far reaching impact, as mentioned, INTECH was able to avoid delays while also demonstrating exceptional flexibility & execution skill to overcome the challenges that emerged subsequently.

2. 3D Model of E-House for Optimal Cable Routing:
Leveraging its in-house expertise, INTECH’s team created a 3D model of the E-House using 2D drawings provided by the client and data collected from the site. This 3D model enabled visualization and analysis of different possible routes that could accommodate the required power cables effectively. Through detailed modeling and analysis, the team developed a plan that met the client’s requirements while ensuring optimal functionality and safety. This proactive approach addressed the immediate issue of accommodating the power cables and showcased INTECH’s commitment to get the job done and adaptability to respond to changing demands & circumstances.

Phase 3 – Onsite challenges & solutions

Challenges

1. Limited space within the station:
INTECH faced multiple challenges during this phase, primarily due to the limited area within the substation and, as mentioned, congested network of cable trays while prioritizing the need for effective handling of materials. The limited space required a thorough rigging plan to upgrade MCCs.

2. Maneuverability issue with 3-Core Cables:
Responding the client’s request for utilizing 3-core cables within switchgear and MCC areas, the team faced issues related to the bending radii of the cables at the corners and maneuverability inside the switchgear and MCC.

3. SIMOPS related Personnel & Equipment safety concerns:
Due to SIMOPS, the area was cluttered with different teams while multiple independent operations caused safety concerns for personnel & equipment.

 

engineer working on MMC
DSC00184

Solutions

1. Comprehensive Rigging Plan:
INTECH successfully addressed challenges posed by limited space through a carefully thought out plan for the dismantling of existing MCCs, their safe movement outside the substation, their rigging, the rigging plan for new MCCs, their movement inside the substation, and their installation.

2. Utilization of Single-Core Unarmored Cables:
INTECH’s team proposed the use of single-core unarmored cables in trefoil formation to effectively reduce bending radii and improve maneuverability in switchgear and MCC.

3. INTECH taking responsibility for safety supervision
INTECH’s team, along with fulfilling their own responsibilities, also supervised the safety aspect of the SIMOPS, in close coordination with the end user team. The project was closed out with zero incidents of injury or equipment damage.

Phase 4 – Commissioning challenges & solutions

Challenges

1. Switchgear Bus Risers ampacity:
INTECH timely notified the end-user team regarding the ampacity of switchgear bus risers that required assessment and coordination with the OEM to rectify any discrepancies.

2. Motor VSD & Softstarter issue:
During commissioning, abnormal behavior was observed on the VSD and Softstarter in the initial run of few motors. This required a detailed assessment of client-performed terminations on the motor side.

Solutions

1. Collaboration with the client and OEM:
INTECH supported the end-user in coordination with the OEM to assess the ampacity of switchgear bus risers and implement necessary resolutions.

2. Root Cause identified and corrections implemented
INTECH timely identified the root cause and requested the client to share the terminations details which their team had performed at the motor side. INTECH found an error in the field terminations and proposed a correct method of termination based on OEM documents. After helping the client team with implementing corrections, the commissioning progressed smoothly.

INTECH’s continued support

INTECH fulfilled its scope of work and was able to deliver the turnkey solution as per the agreed timelines. In addition, INTECH kept its resources engaged on-site for an extended length of time to provide support in related activities that were peripheral to INTECH’s scope. Utilizing its network, INTECH was also able to help the client with logistics arrangements and mobilization of backup resources.

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