Catalyst Installation for Incitec Pivot Moranbah

Catalyst Installation for Incitec Pivot Moranbah

Contract Resources won the Catalyst installation scope of work on a new Ammonia plant being constructed in Moranbah. This plant will provide Ammonia Nitrate to the booming coal industry in the area.

Incitec Pivot Moranbah
Moranbah, Australia

The project laid a few challenges in front of the team as the Gas Heated Reformer (GHR) is one of only two vessels of this kind in the world. Not surprisingly, the loading of the GHR was a first for Contract Resources.

A lot of time prior to the project was spent developing the loading rig for the GHR. The Adelaide workshop did great work in building the rig to the client’s specifications.

This was only one of the 20 vessels that had to be loaded over a one month period. The biggest scope of these was the Ammonia converter; which consists of three beds. These were shipped in from America and were a Casale design from Sweden. The mechanical team had their work cut out for themselves in constructing this Converter as it’s one of the biggest of its kind globally, and is now the largest in Australia.

These beds had to be removed first and cleaned, then repositioned inside the Converter to do some Ebonite testing. After the testing revealed all mating surfaces were inside the given tolerances, the construction and loading of the beds began.

Bed three was installed in position first and then loaded by using the Casale dense loading method. After the loading process the internal mechanical work could be completed, including the installation of the top protection screens, and all necessary cleaning activities.

Each bed was inspected by a Casale representative and a Dyno Noble inspections team. After inspections were completed, the next bed was installed and the loading process continued.

Running parallel with the Ammonia converter was a separate team of Catalyst Technicians going around the plant and loading all the other vessels. There were 10 PSA vessels to be loaded with 250m3 of Catalyst, and had their separate challenges. These Vessels were loaded with 4 separate Catalyst layers each; and every layer had to be within a 10mm tolerance of all the other layers loaded.

As mentioned previously a GHR unit was loaded; this unit has internal tubes that are loaded with two different types of Catalyst and then vibrated to the correct density. This proved challenging as it was an operational first for all personnel involved, but we just kept to it and got it done.

After a solid month of work the project was completed within schedule and budget. I would like to thank all the team members on this project for their efforts over the job, and I know there were massive challenges everyday.

The full article can be found in the Catalyst magazine, issue 14.

[November 2011]