3/17/2016 4:29 AM
The LyondellBasell Chemicals facility in Morris, Illinois is 900 acre complex that “manufactures ethylene, the world’s most widely-used petrochemical, which is then converted into polyethylene plastic resins” (LyondellBasell Chemicals, 2015). These resins—with their broad application such as “leak-proof and shatterproof containers for industrial and household chemicals, packaging that protects our food from spoilage and contamination, and children’s toys that are safe and durable”—have become an important part of LyondellBasell’s over-all product portfolio (LyondellBasell Chemicals, 2015).
The maintenance requirements for a large chemical plant such as the LyondellBasell facility in Morris are daunting—requiring the utmost care and technical precision. This delicate context characterizes all of Starcon’s work within LyondellBasell Morris facility. Starcon has worked within LyondellBasell Morris since 2010, performing maintenance work, capital projects and turnarounds. Additionally, Starcon has a nested crew of thirty-five (35) team members working within the plant under a long-term maintenance contract. Starcon’s daily work scopes at LyondellBasell Morris include: pipe fabrication, pipe welding, scaffolding, insulation, steam tracing, warehouse assistance and other services. The execution of past projects and the consistency of Starcon’s nested crew served to demonstrate the organization’s competence, quality of work, commitment to safety, ingenuity, and productivity. Given this history of successful collaboration, it is not surprising that Starcon has been a top candidate for some of the Morris facility’s most technically-challenging projects.
The LyondellBasell Morris facility has four reactor bays that—depending on the particular line—have either two or three modules with 22 vertical rows of High Pressure Tubing Coils in each module. The coils are approximately 40’ high. The tubing material is carbon steel with outside dimensions of 4.5” in diameter by ~ 1.25” thick, and operates at a pressure of 38,000psi. Each high-pressure flange that joins this tubing is over 2” thick, and includes a specially designed lens ring gasket (37mm to 50mm ID). For a sufficient joint, the studs on these specialty high-pressure flanges are torqued hydraulically to either 1,068 foot pounds or 1,721 foot pounds depending on their diameter. This precision equipment was originally manufactured in Austria by BHDT and had not undergone a tube module replacement since its initial installation forty years ago. LyondellBasell put the project out for bid on a lump sum basis, and Starcon beat out several union contractors and was ultimately awarded the project, which was completed in December of 2014.