In these unprecedented times, delivering specialised services for mission-critical equipment in the energy sector can be a challenge. To this, IGS said – Challenge Accepted!

“For IGS, it is essential to keep delivering the quality of services that our clients around the world are expecting from us, so they, in turn, can continue to provide critically important services such as power and other energy products to the world economy.” – Hayden Hill, COO.

IGS teams are stationed in multiple strategic locations around the world, enabling speedy mobilisation of crews to the various job sites. International travel can be required to resource the larger projects, such as the projects in the Middle East, where the IGS teams were in the middle of executing when the COVID-19 pandemic went global.

How it all Started – January 2020 in the Middle East

When it became obvious that global travel restrictions were imminent, the teams operating on multiple projects in the Middle East in February had to make that all important choice: to continue to execute the projects while risking not being able to get home, or to leave, thus, postponing the work.

The experienced and cohesive teams made the unanimous decision to stay and finish the projects. Upon completing the initial scope, IGS was able to execute additional work between January and March 2020 in both Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

IGS Goes Downstream – Refining and Petrochemical Companies in Saudi Arabia

Project Dates: 12th – 20th February, 3rd – 6th March

Project: 4 Process Vessels Protected from Metal Wastage in 2 Plants

Country: Saudi Arabia

High-Velocity Thermal Spray (HVTS) cladding was applied to a Rich Amine Flash Drum, the Preheater, the Separator, and the Stripper Column protecting them from any further metal wastage and ensuring the reliability of these vital Petrochemical Complexes.

IGS was able to mobilise resources at very short notice and provide a metallurgical upgrade to the base metal of the vessels and columns suffering from severe corrosion damage. Both plants went back in operation ahead of their shutdown schedules.

“A big salute to our crews for working under difficult circumstances, and still delivering the high quality that our customers deserve,” says Dennis Snijders, Sr. Regional Director – Middle East. “IGS goes above and beyond! We continue to serve our customers throughout the Middle East while maintaining the health and safety of our field teams. We have been executing multiple projects in Saudi Arabia and Qatar since early January. We are still continuing to serve our customers in the Middle East to this date, despite the logistics challenges in moving resources in-country and between countries.”

IGS’s technicians and project managers are stationed in multiple locations enabling the delivery of project executions with very little notice in these ever-changing circumstances.

Colossal Boiler Project in Japan Completed

Project Dates: 23rd March – 20th April

Project: 565m2 of HVTS Applied in a Circulating Fluidized Bed Boiler

Country: Japan

Tokyo-based chemical company and the world’s fourth-largest silicon manufacturer is operating their No. 7 CFB Boiler to provide power and steam for their petrochemical plant. They have an annual shutdown of the No. 7 CFB boiler in March-April, where IGS Japan team, with the help of IGS technicians from the USA and Indonesia, completed the project on schedule, even with extended scope.

Pandemic-Affected Power Project in Indonesia Goes to Schedule

Project Dates: 23rd March – 5th May

Project: 305m2 of HVTS Cladding Applied in Unit #1

Country: Indonesia

A government-owned electricity provider has been operating their boilers below full capacity. To help increase capacity, IGS applied HVTS in their coal-fired boiler. Despite issues with getting the resources on time due to the global pandemic, the project was completed successfully by the IGS local team in Indonesia with QC support from IGS Japan.

Maintaining Critical Power Infrastructure in Poland

Project Dates: 19th – 22nd May

Project: CFB Boiler Waterwall Protection

Country: Poland

IGS mobilised to support a turnaround in a power plant, which is part of Poland’s critical power infrastructure. The team made a thorough inspection of the CFB boiler waterwalls and identified high metal wastage areas. These areas were refurbished with the HVTS cladding to prevent leaks of the pressure parts.

The power plant also asked to protect an additional area, which was subjected to an accelerated metal loss. IGS team managed to execute this further scope promptly, avoiding any delays in the critical path. IGS HVTS cladding stops base material metal loss, making pressure part-exchange and welding obsolete.

Extending Components Lifetime in France

Project Dates: 26th – 27nd May

Project: FCC Unit Pipe Erosion

Country: France

An FCC unit in a Refinery had localised pipeline erosion at the elbows and tees. IGS Europe applied HVTS cladding to remedy the problem and extend the lifetime of the fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) column, avoiding replacement and associated downtime and costs.

Copper Mine Optimisation Goes to Plan in the USA

Project Dates: 25th May – 30th May

Project: SO2 Corrosion Mitigation in a Waste Heat Boiler

Country: USA

IGS was invited to preserve the life and ensure the reliability of a Copper mine’s FS waste heat boiler (WHB) inlet tubes, and a variety of other areas.

Complete Boiler Revamp in Italy Achieved

Project Dates: 28th May – 9nd June

Project: WtE Boiler 219m² Waterwall Protection

Country: Italy

A waste-to-energy boiler was suffering fireside corrosion on the waterwall tubes. IGS has applied its HVTS cladding at the top of the 2nd path and the superheater tubes in the same area. This application will significantly extend the lifetime of these critical boiler components’, preventing any unforced outages in the future.

Project Management and Execution during the Pandemic

IGS has produced documentation and carried out extensive training for all its staff aimed at reducing the spread of the Covid-19 virus while working in a safe environment and providing first-class services for their customers. Some of these best practices that continue to enable IGS to deliver projects during this global pandemic are as follows.

Travel to and from Site

All staff have been provided with their own face masks to be used while traveling. Best practice on avoiding contact with surfaces, such as using prepay or digital payment methods, has also been shared. Most importantly, frequent hand washing, and sanitizing have been stipulated.

Lodging and Accommodation

Staff have been thoroughly briefed on what to expect in hotels, which have now implemented their own procedures and protocols for reducing the spread of the virus. From unnecessary items being removed from rooms, to changes in cleaning services and ‘Grab and Go’ breakfast arrangements.

General Precautions

Daily temperature checks before the shift start have been made mandatory. While IGS is still operating in 12-hour shifts due to the necessary project completion deadlines, the teams will not overlap and all contact between teams will be avoided. Toolbox talks are conducted while maintaining social distancing. Reusable PPE is disinfected prior to the start of each shift.

Site Safety

Asset owners have implemented their own control measures, which are to be followed and include: pre-site access quarantine, site access temperature screening, site access questionnaires, Covid-19 awareness training, and new PPE requirements, among others.

Symptomatic Employees

Immediate self-isolation is enforced if an employee is showing any signs or symptoms of Covid-19 or if they have been exposed to another person with suspected Covid-19 or its positive diagnosis.

Routine Responses to Emergencies during this Global Pandemic

Every day, IGS dedicated local teams continue to perform safely and efficiently in these challenging conditions. All while ensuring the reliability of the most critical energy and chemical producers to facilitate the continuity of essential services in these challenging times.

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