In the wake of a refinery explosion that rendered an electrostatic precipitator unusable, our team was charged with rebuilding the unit and returning it to service. The initial assessment determined all eight plenums were blown off, all internal system were damaged and severe structural damage had occurred.
Once initial cleanup and removal of potentially harmful falling debris was complete, we worked with ExxonMobil to supply key information to the Environmental Protection Agency, CSB, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the AQMD to achieve approval to begin repairs. We established the internal demolition sequence to keep inspectors out of harm’s way.
Internal demolition included removal of 960 collecting electrodes (plants), 9,360 rigid discharge electrodes, 48 high-voltage frames, 96 rapper assemblies, 48 lower steadying frames, 48 sealing baffles and two partition walls. The demolition was sequenced to open up fields for inspection and ensure rigging paths were not populated by workers.
Structural repairs included repair or replacement of 38 out of 42 support columns, using temporary bracing and shoring for each to maintain structural integrity. Four hoppers were replaced and 44 were repaired. These items were replaced:
To repopulate the ESP, we reinstalled 960 collecting electrodes, 9360 rigid discharge electrodes, and all associated frames and rappers, then eight plenums were reinstalled. Our team coupled the plenum sections on-site to expedite welding and reduce critical lifts from eight to four.