• GE’s Downstream Technology Solutions Lauded for Upgrading Versalis’ Priolo Ethylene Plant;
• Priolo Upgrades Included Replacing Steam Turbine, Refurbishing Auxiliaries and Compressors;
• GE Combines Advanced Technology, Project Management Expertise and Skilled Workforce to Help Petrochemical Facilities Boost Production and Efficiency.
Demonstrating how GE’s advanced technology, project expertise and skilled workforce are helping petrochemicals producers upgrade their facilities worldwide, GE Oil & Gas today announced its Downstream Technology Solutions (DTS) business has received the International Project Management Association’s (IPMA) 2014 Project Excellence Gold Level Award for its role in upgrading Italian petrochemicals operator Versalis’ Priolo ethylene plant in Sicily.
Completed in January 2014, the project represented a major strategic investment for Versalis to improve the 30-year-old Priolo plant’s energy efficiency, production line capacity and availability while minimizing production downtime. The facility’s cracker has the capacity to produce 790,000 tons per year of ethylene. Milan-based Versalis is the chemicals business of ENI, headquartered in Rome.
“The Priolo project was an extremely complex undertaking in an existing plant environment where every project aspect had to be coordinated flawlessly,” said Hasan Dandashly, vice president of Downstream Technology Solutions, GE Oil & Gas. “We are honored IPMA recognized this outstanding achievement with its top award for excellent performance in project management covering process planning, execution and results.”
The project illustrates a growing trend in which many petrochemical companies and refineries are focusing on lowering their costs of production and improving overall operating efficiency. European operators have focused more on modernizing and improving their existing complexes rather than developing new plant sites.
Versalis selected GE because the company had the proven experience and global workforce capabilities to manage the logistical and technical challenges associated with upgrading an ethylene plant facility. GE’s project leaders attended the company’s Project Management Academy where they immerse themselves in GE’s quality standards and procedures to ensure the Priolo upgrades were performed seamlessly with other portions of the plant overhaul.
“Receiving the IPMA award proves that GE’s emphasis on operational excellence and training is improving the expertise of our project managers,” said Alberto Matucci, leader of Global Project Organization & Quality for GE Oil & Gas. “We are excited to showcase the project management skills of GE’s global workforce to support the production and efficiency goals of our customers worldwide.”
The overall Priolo project included a complete furnace, quench, coolers and process pipes refurbishment with up to 1,000 people working simultaneously on site to complete the outage project on time. As a result of the upgrades, the plant’s daily production output has increased from 1,000 to 1,400 tons with increases in process efficiency (greater than 30 percent), energy efficiency (greater than 25 percent) and lower carbon dioxide emissions. The plant now has extended to longer maintenance intervals and is in compliance with safety regulations and EU certification.
GE’s portion of the project included replacing a decades-old steam turbine and refurbishing auxiliaries, balance of plant and the facility’s centrifugal compressors on six different trains with GE’s advanced turbomachinery to boost the Priolo plant’s output and efficiency. GE’s work involved 80 core members with a site team of 120 people and 80 subcontractors. The project took 20 months to complete, covering equipment procurement, design and installation. GE worked closely with Versalis to ensure the operator’s important goals were achieved including successfully returning an important local investment to commercial operation as quickly as possible with no environmental impacts or employee health and safety issues.
“The IPMA Project Excellence Award motivates project teams to identify and optimize the use of their strengths. It provides applicants with the opportunity to gain feedback on their project management performance to assist in the continuous development of their project management,” IPMA’s website stated.
In evaluating the Priolo plant upgrades, IPMA assessed the project team, GE, suppliers and Versalis based on a number of evaluation criteria. The main goal of this assessment is to find excellence in project management by understanding where the award winner was able to be innovative and create new performance benchmarks.
According to an IPMA Gold Level Award summary for GE: “The Priolo project has established a new benchmark for major complex turnkeys in the oil and gas-ethylene segment and has expanded the boundaries for reliable options when customers are considering major re-profiling of their fleets.”
GE Oil & Gas’ DTS business provides integrated solutions including in the refinery, petrochemical and power generation segments, adding the value of a single equipment source with a key focus on applications for ethylene, low density polyethylene, ammonia and urea as well as refinery processing.
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About GE Oil & Gas
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