Delayed Coker Project Development and Engineering Services
Adams Project Managers, Inc. (APMI) and Jack Adams, its principal, perform Coker revamp and modernization studies. Study reports include recommendations and a "roadmap" of path forward that provide the refiner with a plan to upgrade their Coker. Why is this important?
The right time to analyze modernization and expansion options is before new drums are ordered as part of a coke drum replacement project. Larger drums and shorter cycle times may be possible and will increase capacity, especially when installed with new unheading devices. But feed nozzle design and orientation and piping design revisions must be considered early.
The use of automatic deheading devices, such as DeltaValves, has greatly improved the safety of coker operations, but they have also created coker feed entry issues. Without the best feed nozzle solution, 'banana' shaped drums may occur.
Whether the scope is simply a drum replacement or an extensive Coker expansion, our Team can identify the options, and complete a cost estimate and milestone schedule for a Coker revamp. An efficient Delayed Coker operation enhances a refinery?s profitability, safety, and long-term viability. Although Coker margins fluctuate, almost all U.S. and many international refiners have Delayed Cokers. All refiners are looking for improvements in profitability, efficiency, safety, and on-stream factor.
Coker revamps and grassroots coker investments are difficult to predict. Some refiners have started EPC on grassroots cokers and stopped the process due to costs exceeding estimates which resulted in less favorable economics than initially expected. This becomes a bigger issue as refinery margins drop. Here are a few things we have found to be generally true:
Foundations may be able to take new drums up to one foot diameter larger with modifications. However installing automated deheading valves also adds weight and must be considered.
Drums greater than one foot in diameter larger than existing drums will likely require a new coker island, i.e., a new coker island includes a new foundation and derrick, new pit or pad, an upgraded or new jet water system and pump, and fractionator modifications or replacement.
Inside battery limit (ISBL) investments for grassroots units completed in 2007- 2008 increased by 15-50% (more in some cases) versus 2004 estimates. This was mainly due to escalation of all EPC activities and materials costs. Current costs have declined as project activities are cut back.
Outside battery limit (OSBL) investments for grassroots cokers are generally higher than most estimates indicate and are a significant percentage of the overall capital project cost (20-40%). Cost escalation and scope creep are the main culprits.
Contrast this to the revamp project of an existing Coker by installing new larger sized drums, deheading valves, and other modernization upgrades, the cost for an upgrade of perhaps one-third (1/3) of the cost of a grassroots Coker, especially when offsite systems and site development costs are considered. In many cases, this is an excellent way to provide increased capacity with lower capital cost outlay.
Coker modernization studies always include a site visit and facilities review to identify constructability issues. Also included are simulations with process analysis, specific recommendations relating to the refiner's objectives and a milestone schedule for recommended projects. Studies typically include an analysis of cycle times, drum outages, level controls, operating conditions, furnace operations, fractionator simulation and recommendations, and pressure survey. The Coker gas plant can also be simulated, if gas plant capacity is an issue.
APMI has completed multiple coker revamp and modernization studies and projects. Scope has typically included new drums, deheading devices, and revamp to the fractionator and piping, etc.
We are ready to help you modernize your Coker.
Adams Project Managers, Inc. (APMI) 14162 W. 142nd Street, Olathe, Kansas, 66062 USA Call: 913-706-5238 Email: APMI.Jack@Gmail.com