Tata Chemicals Ltd’s Babrala unit operates an ammonia-urea complex based on NG/naphtha reforming. Haldor Topsøe of Denmark and Snamprogetti of Italy provided the process technology for ammonia and urea plants respectively. The focus on efficiency was right from the conceptual stages, which facilitated in selection of state of art technology. During the operation phase the focus was on process discipline, waste reduction / recycling and modifications for better reliability, safety and efficiency. With this approach Tata Chemicals could show continuous improvement in energy efficiency year after year and is a national benchmark in fertilizer industry and comparable with the best in the world. The equipment manufacturers and process licensors consider the facility as a reference plant.
A very important event for the operations group is the planned shut-down of the plant for annual turn-around. This can be a yearly activity or more in some cases, as per the requirements and the quantum of jobs accumulated. The success of these turn-arounds plays a critical part in the operating efficiency and reliability of operations, hence all care and expertise is required to execute them well.
In this paper we have tried to cover all the areas related to planning, preparation and execution of a safe and efficient annual turn-around. Basically here we are trying to give a picture of the same from the process side of operation. It broadly covers:
- Shut-down job lists – Preparation, segregation, continuous updating and finalization
- Estimation of duration of SD based on critical jobs
- Materials and services planning
- Safety preparedness and safety guidelines for service providers
- Process planning – Preparation of “Shut-down Manual”
- Preparation of shut-down reports,
We have made processes and tried to standardize the entire process of annual turn- around planning and execution and have tremendously benefited from it. We are sure that sharing our experience with others in the industry will help them prepare better and in turn also help us to improve our processes and take us further in our journey towards excellence.