Being known in the petrochemical industry as a dependable, clear-cut engineering contractor takes some responsibility. During the replacement project for the Sasol Catalytic Cracker (SCC) Cyclone and Riser project at the Sasol Synfuels Operations facility in Secunda, MegChem proved itself as a leader in its field with foresight and in-depth planning.

On 3 April 2018 the removal and replacement of the SCC Cyclone and Riser was set in motion. MegChem working closely with their client Group Technology, a division of Sasol South Africa (Pty) Ltd in a dynamic partnership to handle the project with the efficiency for which MegChem is known.

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Despite a very tight schedule the team had to comply with, the project achieved intermediate milestones ahead of schedule relieving pressure on the rest of the project. The project was marked by various notable rigging activities. This included the rigging out of the old dome with the upper cyclones, a load of almost 100 tonnes.

During projects of this scale preparing and planning for both ideal and worst scenarios is vital. The original shutdown duration was established at 55 days. After various strategic sessions using 4D modelling, the duration was reduced to 45 days. The shutdown was successfully executed in 43 days. Challenges often only present themselves after the plant is accessible. MegChem’s aim was to set up and populate the project organogram to manage and resolve the issues with in-depth experienced resources. This strategy payed off in various instances, i.e. when it was found that the existing equipment was severely damaged, alternative plans had to be made for the safe removal. Flexibility in the execution strategy ensured the on-time delivery after sections of the plant was not available as planned.

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Valuable experience gained on previous projects handled by MegChem aids in the refining of Shutdown preparation, never under estimating the importance of pre-shut field work and therefore managing the execution risk.

The project construction philosophy benefitted from some innovative ideas in completing the above milestones on time. Innovation such as major cut lines executed using waterjet cutting technology; strapping philosophy implemented to lift upper cyclones and dome with coke in the plenum; SPMT transporting the removed and new modules and man-cage being used in accessing tight elevations instead of building big scaffolding towers.

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MegChem is able to offer clients a dynamic solution with the integration of suppliers over a broad spectrum and the in-depth management there off.

On site safety remains a major focus for MegChem expecting the same alertness from their subcontractors in this regard. The project has achieved more than 250 safe days which translates to almost 200 000 manhours.

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Congratulations to all the involved parties on completing a first-class project leaving the MegChem footprint of innovation and quality.