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Decommissioning: Preparing Plants for a Retrofit

By Richard Vann, RVA Group |

As technologies advance and market challenges continue to pose new pressures for operators, the decommissioning and retrofitting of facilities is inevitable. This article provides guidance on how to tackle projects of this nature safely and efficiently As with many industrial sectors, the chemical process industries (CPI) have witnessed a marked upswing in the number of decommissioning projects being carried out worldwide. The drivers for such projects are multifaceted. The work required to pave the way for new or more efficient retrofitted or revamped plants is inherently hazardous, not to mention a step into the unknown for most chemical firms. Some plants, particularly those constructed in the 1960s and 70s, have simply reached the end of their design life. They therefore pose too many inefficiencies — not to mention safety and reputational risks­— to warrant ongoing operation. Others have effectively reached their “sell-by-date” as a result of evolving environmental, health and safety (EHS) legislation and compliance standards, so they must be decommissioned and ring-fenced if operators are to remain on the right side of the law. Elsewhere, changing economic trends mean that some markets are contracting, while others…
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