The Amuay Refinery begins a new stage in the process of modernization and strengthening of the operations of the Paraguaná Refining Center (CRP) of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) with the replacement of SK-4602 and SK-4601 chimneys in Block 29.
The general manager of the Paraguaná Refining Center, Fernando Padrón, highlighted the quality and innovation in this initiative. “This is a large project, characterized by the use of state-of-the-art technology worldwide, to ensure that processes are executed safely and efficiently,” he said.
With 106 meters high, the chimneys of Amuay represent vital installations in the process of medium and deep conversion of the Paraguaná Refining Center. These giants that have adorned the horizon of the refinery since 1979, will give way to new structures designed to continue guaranteeing the safe dispersion and venting of combustion gases from boilers and flexigas, a unique technology in Venezuela.
The manager of Major Refining Projects, Luis González, stressed that this process will begin with the demolition of the SK-4602 chimney. The maneuver will be executed by the Italian-Venezuelan consortium Demolizioni Especiali and HAFRAN, for which an 800-ton crane with a range of 108 meters is available, and a special spider-type demolition will be suspended in the center of the chimney, removing the sections with precise cuts.
The demolition process will be controlled and in phases, so that the population will not observe a complete collapse, but by sections or sections. The maneuver will be duly covered, in compliance with industrial and environmental safety regulations.
Irwing Hernandez, Project leader for the Management of Major Projects of the Paraguaná Refining Center, indicated that “we have carried out previous activities to remove internal ducts and external stairs to begin the installation of a structure that will confine the entire work area, in the smallest possible perimeter of operation. In addition, the procedure and equipment will ensure that debris is deposited in one place; the interior of the chimney for its subsequent transfer and treatment in a temporary patio.
A team of 40 people will be working for three months on the demolition of this first chimney. Weather conditions, such as wind speed, will be taken into account for reasons of safety of personnel and equipment.
Once the process is completed, the current foundations will be adapted to proceed with the installation of the new chimney.
With the start-up of the SK-4602 fireplace, the replacement of the SK-4601 will begin; an estimated work in 18 months of work and approximately 120 thousand man hours.
The company clarified that the modification of the chimneys of the Amuay refinery does not represent any cause for concern for workers and sectors close to the refining center, since all the factors have been taken into account to carry out a controlled process.