Realignment of Coker Drums Improves Reliability of Coking Unit
A coking unit is critical to the oil refinery process. These large structures contain coke drums which are part of a process where feedstock from the vacuum unit is converted to products like gasoline, diesel, LPG and petroleum coke. During this process, coke is formed in the coke drums which is then hydraulically cut by lowering a drill stem into the top of the drum.
Due to failure of anchor bolts, grouts, octagons or deformation of coke drums, the top of the coke drums may go out of alignment with the drill stem, creating issues during the coke cutting process.
STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES performed an inspection of a coker at a West Coast refinery. There were signs of deterioration of the concrete beams, columns, and octagon faces. The grout at the base of the coke drums had also failed causing the drums to lean out of alignment with the drill stem, creating an operational challenge.
Moving coke drums traditionally uses a crane, which involves removing the derrick structure, leading to very high costs. STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES engineered a solution using a hydraulic jacking system at the base of the coke drums to re-align the top of drums with the drill stem. This involved no use of crane or disturbing the derrick structure, leading to huge cost savings.
STRUCTURAL, a licensed contractor of STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES, implemented the design including beam and column repairs, octagon face repairs, anchor bolt replacement, re-alignment of the coke drums, and grout replacement.
The project was completed on schedule and with zero safety incidents, increasing the reliability and operability of the coker.