In 2016 and 2017 the Schwechat refinery underwent a general inspection (turnaround) that has to be carried out every six years. In addition to the maintenance and inspection of the plants, projects were also implemented to update and guarantee the sustainable operation of the refinery.
The focus of the 2017 turnaround work was on the inspection of the petrochemical plants. The products produced in these plants are raw materials for the production of plastics at the neighbouring company, Borealis. For this reason, OMV and Borealis carried out the general overhaul simultaneously this year. This coordinated implementation was extremely important for both parties in the interest of efficient production planning.
Special attention was given to quality and safety when choosing partners because of the major importance of the general overhaul. 3,500 external specialists were deployed in addition to the approximately 700 OMV employees. Prangl provided support with an unprecedented fleet of machinery. The Prangl specialists were on-site with a total of 45 telescopic cranes, 11 loader cranes, 25 forklift trucks and telehandlers, three tractor units and a 50 metre truck-mounted work platform. Every step was planned down to the last detail because the work was being carried out in a confined space and under great time pressure.
The centrepiece of the whole 2017 turnaround was undoubtedly the 1,000 tonne yellow telescopic crane, the heaviest in Austria. It was used when replacing the top of the column in the “HDS 3 splitter” plant because of its unparalleled lateral range. After all, it had to overcome a reach of 60 metres at a height of 70 metres with a lifting weight of 10 tonnes. No other equipment could have been used because of the limited setup space and the need to keep the road clear.
All inspection work was carried out according to a very precise plan. The Prangl experts also mastered this challenge superbly because of their decades of experience in the petrochemical sector. One week we were even voted “Subcontractor of the Week”.