Olefins Unit Debottlenecking Portfolio


Olefins unit debottlenecking

A client required engineering to debottleneck the olefins unit at an existing ethylene plant and intended to implement the upgrades during the next scheduled turnaround. The challenge for Valdes was to fast-track detail engineering and complete construction packages for the break-in project, while allowing sufficient time for safe and reliable execution. This olefins expansion consisted of over 30 unit improvements (individual scope items), which were identified to increase the ethylene production rate by 55 MM lbs./yr. (1.35B lbs./yr.).


Valdes developed an accelerated schedule to complete pre-turnaround and turnaround scope items issued for comment (IFCs), which were phased into the plan. Valdes 3D modeled all scope items and bid out pre-turnaround shop spools and construction. The portfolio of projects included detail engineering and design for caustic tower heat exchangers, upgrading the demister vessel, a reboiler exchanger replacement, re-tray of the deethanizer tower, re-tray of the ethylene fractionator tower, replacement of two pumps, several piping header modifications, associated instrumentation specification and sizing, piping support design, 3D modeling, and stress analysis.


In addition to the design, Valdes conducted several design reviews with operators and the turnaround planners to coordinate project capital scope items with turnaround expense work scope items in the same zones. An on-site team also provided support during the turnaround, resolving RFIs and construction issues. The debottlenecking of the olefins unit was completed safely, on schedule, and under budget. After startup, production exceeded design capacity and set new records for ethylene production.






Instrumentation & Controls

Pipe Stress Analysis

Piping & Plant Layout

Laser Scanning & Surveying

Project Management

Project Controls