Keywords: Fertiliser production, Life cycle support.
The life time of a chemical plant is considered to depend on both the mechanical integrity of the plant and its economic life. Many older plants continue to be competitive due to reasons of depreciated capital cost and the escalated cost of new plants. Such plants are those that are well maintained, regularly updated and revamped.
Maintaining the availability, reliability, operational efficiency and safety requires management commitment and management vision, reflected in a Business Strategy Document.
The plant management has to assess the condition of the plant and the state of the art of the process in order to predict the future projects and budgets. This assessment is guided by monitoring the critical elements of the business strategy in order to satisfy the required manufacturing life cycle of the plant and to stay competitive. Brain sharing to adjust to new ideas and perceptions could initiate opportunities to attractive plant upgrades.
Plant Management has to make use of techniques to monitor the condition of the plant and machinery and replace in time those parts and process units that have approached the end of their useful life to meet the directives as agreed upon in the Business Strategy Document.
Apart from regular maintenance, it is essential that plant management is aware of the possible failure rates and limited life time of the ageing equipment and starts combating the threats of atmospheric corrosion due to external influences before it becomes a serious threat to the safe operation of the plant.
Plant management has to assure that the plant can fulfil its function without any unforeseen and undesired incident and that manufacturing can follow the change of important external and internal developments.
A case study shows the opportunity to convert a conventional urea plant into a modern CO2 stripping plant with competitive performance figures, making use of Stamicarbon’s new Urea 2000-plus process.
J van der Werf and R de Heus, Stamicarbon, Netherlands.
20 pages, 7 figures, 5 refs.