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Pulling off the largest refinery modernization in BP History

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The case

The Whiting Refinery Modernization Project is the largest and most complex upgrading project in BP’s recent history. BP asked Mammoet to assist in the massive undertaking filled with logistical, constructional and meteorological challenges. Mammoet accepted the job, taking on the handling, management, transport and installation of a large number of  components built in factories all over the U.S. For five years, Mammoet coordinated logistical activities on-and-off-site to safely complete the construction as efficiently as possible.

A job this big takes more than just lifting power.

Almost every processing unit in the refinery had to be modified to some degree. Carrying out the many individual jobs was relatively easy as compared to overall onsite management. Every lift over another unit had consequences for other parties working in the same area.

Mammoet often had to come up with solutions to operate in tight quarters where standard equipment would not fit. Further challenges were presented by the weather – heat, thunderstorms and blizzards were all potential causes for delay. The key to success lay in careful planning and efficient project management as well as adaptive and innovative engineering.

Careful planning and efficient project management ensured a safe refinery upgrade.

Whiting Refinery, USA

In combination with Mammoet’s fleet of high capacity equipment, this approach allowed BP to build larger modules. Bigger cranes were of central importance, making it possible to construct larger modules, raise them in fewer lifts, and save considerable time. This also meant fewer road transports and therefore a smaller impact on local traffic. When spatial restrictions prohibited the use of standard equipment, Mammoet created the tools to move components to their final destination despite the restrictions. Mammoet’s Self-Propelled Skidding System was invented for this purpose: it allows the skidding of components at heights, thus adding to the efficiency of construction jobs. Also, having a wide range of different types of equipment at the site’s disposal proved to be a cost effective advantage, as it allowed optimization of project management.

New reactor being rolled off the barge

SPMTs moving a pipe rack into position on site

Mammoet's self-propelled skidding system

Largest refinery modernization in BP history

Despite the many challenges, Mammoet completed the overhaul weeks ahead of schedule. Five years of innovative engineering, highly efficient project management and nearly half a million incident free man-hours on-site turned BP Whiting into North America’s premier refinery.

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