Russia’s Kirishinefteorgsintez refinery (KINEF LLC) wanted to replace its old process furnace with a new, modern alternative. Initial calculations indicated that dismantling the old structure and constructing the new furnace in its place would involve at least two months’ downtime and the full shutdown of the CDU/VDU-6 unit for 60 days. Drawing on its specialist know-how and extensive resources, Mammoet devised a way to transport the fully assembled furnace and maneuver it into position. This allowed construction of the furnace to take place prior to installation, minimizing downtime.
Transporting a fully-assembled furnace cuts downtime.
Kirishi, 115 kilometers south-east of St Petersburg, is home to one of the largest oil refineries in Russia: KINEF LLC. When one of the refinery’s old process furnaces needed replacing, a new furnace was assembled adjacent to the existing location. Measuring 24 by 4.4 meters at the base and 18.9 meters high, the new furnace weighed 680 metric tons, which is more than a Boeing 747.
Mammoet was commissioned to transport the new, fully-assembled furnace and maneuver the gigantic structure with absolute precision onto the foundation columns of its predecessor. The meticulous positioning of the new furnace was the most challenging part of the entire project. The conventional approach would be to transport it using a crawler crane; however, this would require the time-consuming assembly of a complex support frame around the furnace. Another option would involve using sledges to drag the furnace. Mammoet rejected this method after analysis of the furnace’s center of gravity showed it would become unstable while in motion.
Mammoet’s solution was to use two 18-axle lines of Goldhofer trailers on each side of the furnace. This spread the load to provide the necessary stability and enabled precision-controlled steering. The new furnace was maneuvered into position, with only 100 to 150 millimeters between the trailers and the supports on which the furnace was to be installed. Once in place, the furnace was connected to the process pipelines, fluepipe and electrical apparatus.
By completing the complex maneuver in just two days, Mammoet reduced the furnace downtime significantly, enabling the KINEF refinery to resume full production with minimum disruption.