To help meet Australia's growing demand for unleaded petrol, Ampol Refineries Limited recently commissioned a new state-of-the-art petroleum reformer at the company's Brisbane refinery.
The New No.3 Reformer
The new No. 3 Reformer replaces a unit built in 1965 which was no longer able to cope with throughput and octane requirements for unleaded petrol.
Based on the catalytic reforming process which has been the mainstay of the petroleum refining industry's operations for many years, the new reformer provides improved refining efficiency, and a consistently high octane product.
The 65 metre high structure accommodates a reactor and regenerator column facilitating continuous regeneration of the catalyst, which provides a further economic catalytic efficiency and enables longer running periods between maintenance shutdowns.
Hot Dip Galvanizing
The use of hot dip galvanizing for all structural steel work in the No. 3 Reformer was decided on a requirement for very long term protection in the corrosive marine environment of the Brisbane River estuary location, which is not far from the open sea.
Use of Galvanizing
The use of galvanizing also minimised site works and provided the several values of off-site completion. This helped the constructor, Davy McKee Pacific to meet critical path construction schedules - galvanized steel is ready for erection immediately it reaches the site, with no need for on-site painting or coating touch up after erection, except where steel might have been cut or welded.
Because of Ampol's recent experience and the success of galvanizing in petrochemical applications, the company plans further use of galvanized structural steel in future.
Davy McKee Pacific was awarded the contract to supply project management, detailed design, procurement, construction and mechanical completion services on a lump sum basis with commissioning assistance.
Construction activities included three major heavy lifts involving some of the largest cranes in Australia, and the project was completed ahead of schedule over a 24 month period.