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ExxonMobil expects a new $1 billion fuel upgrading unit at its Antwerp refinery to be fully operational in the first half of next year, the company said on 28 November. The delayed coker unit, part of a $1 billion investment announced in 2014, will enable the 320,000-B/D refinery to upgrade high-sulphur fuel into various types of diesel, including the variant mandated by new laws governing shipping fuels. The company announced the investment during a particularly tough period for European refining, when margins were near multiyear lows and demand in the region appeared to be in permanent decline. However, refining profits have since rebounded strongly. An Exxon spokeswoman said the company plans to complete construction "towards early 2018."
INTRODUCTION ABSTRACT: An in situ study of more than 100 ballast tanks of merchant marine vessels looks to the corrosion process in these tanks from another perspective. The developed corrosion model shows major similarities with earlier studies based on laboratory experiments. The field work exposes the influence of ship construction parameters such as land of construction, coating type and the presence of sacrificial anodes on the corrosion process in the ballast tanks. Possible alternatives for vessels constructed with ordinary grade A steel and coated according to IMO PSPC standards are presented, even though further research is required to come to final conclusions. The degradation of metallic surfaces due to atmospheric corrosion is a well-known problem for many exposed steel structures such as bridges, storage tanks and pipelines. Bringing seawater into this equation causes an even more aggressive environment, and an increased corrosion effect. Merchant navy vessels sail across the world's oceans and in the absence of cargo or when the ship is only partly loaded, she carries seawater in het ballast tanks to ensure maneuverability and to control draft, stress and stability. As necessary as ballast tanks are for the operation of a ship, though, the fact that they are prone to corrosion poses a distinct problem for a ship. First of all, corrosion is expensive. For the U.S. economy alone, the 1998 cost of corrosion amounted to $275.7 billion/year1. Production interruptions, incidents and repairs provoked these economic losses. On board of a ship these elements were boosted by the omnipresent safety aspect. Moreover, the problem of ballast tank corrosion was exacerbated by the introduction of the double hull tanks. In 1989 the Exxon Valdez polluted Prince William Sound and consequently the USA government imposed a new ship design for all tankers carrying oil in US territorial waters, called double hull. IMO followed a few years later and the double hull design became obligatory by the MARPOL convention in 1993 for newly built ships The purpose of this design was to protect the cargo tanks with a double barrier, to increase ship safety and to minimize pollution in case of a calamity. Indeed, today, all tankers (and most other vessels as well) have their ballast tanks wrapped around the cargo tanks, serving as a protective barrier. To facilitate tank washing and maintenance, all structural elements were excluded from the cargo tanks and transferred to the ballast tanks, resulting in very unfriendly labyrinth-like structures. Even more so - reality proves that maintenance of ballast tanks does almost not exist. Chipping, grit blasting and airless paint spaying in these enclosed spaces is cumbersome and very expensive. Recent studies 2, 3 show corrosion algorithms and functions, given a generalized corrosion model. All these models are the result of prolonged laboratory studies. In this paper, the opposite approach has been followed. Taking advantage of our geographical position in the centre of the international port of Antwerp, we have surveyed a number of ships to assess the corrosion damage in situ.
Abstract At many refining and distributing sites soil and groundwater pollution occurs, often resulting in free floating product or LNAPL (Light Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids). Often costly remediation measures have to be undertaken. A practical, robust and (cost) effective remediation program is therefore key important. For a major oil spill in Antwerp Harbor HMVT has successfully designed and implemented the remedial works for a major NAPL of 1.500m (!) free floating product of volatile hydrocarbons, diesel and naphtha. The case, design, results and cost of the project will be presented. The site is located in the Antwerp Harbor. On the site a pumping station of a petrochemical pipeline is present, pumping Naphtha from Antwerp, Belgium to the south of The Netherlands. The Naphtha pollution was caused by a leakage at the pumping station. On the site also petrochemical products are stored. The diesel pollution was caused by a leaking above ground storage tank. On the site ca. 23.000m of soil was polluted with LNAPL with a maximum thickness of 1–1,5m. In total 1.000m of product was expected, but during the project ca. 1.500m of LNAPL is been removed. On the picture on the right it can be seen that most of the product was present underneath the pumping station and the ‵contractor's village2. For port construction reasons the ground level has been raised with sandy material up to 4-5 meters in the past. Underneath this fine sandy upper layer the original, clayey soil is present. The water table is found at ca. 2 m-bgl, but this water table fluctuates ca. 1m between summer and winter.
Abstract Published data show that the O&G industry has been very successful in reducing occupational accidents, but not as successful in larger scale process safety accidents. The EU has pioneered an approach using barrier diagrams, called bow ties, to identify and communicate barriers effectively, and thereafter to manage these through life. In North America, IADC offers these as the basis for demonstration of safety for MODU facilities which travel between regulatory jurisdictions. Ongoing safe operations in the UK and Norwegian offshore sectors have shown that comprehensive barrier management improves safety performance. However, communicating the information from hazard and risk registers and bow ties is essential to make sure that everyone understands the full set of barriers in use, their personal responsibilities, that these barriers are operational, and meet their effectiveness requirements. This paper provides an example demonstration combining bow tie risk management tools with a Sharepoint interface for communications as applied for a large upstream company. Two versions were created - a simpler Pull interface and more complex Push interface. Operations Safety Needs It is clear that Process Safety - particularly preventing major accidents - is not yet a solved problem for the process industry globally. A prior paper (Pitblado, 2008) highlighted that while the industry has been very successful in reducing occupational accidents over the past 15-20 years, trends on process safety have been flat or even getting worse. In fact this very success can mislead site management into thinking that process safety is under control as the more frequent occupational incidents have reduced so much. Kleindorfer et al (2007) note that early hopes for process safety improvement have not occurred. The EPA published reduction in accident frequencies and impacts based on the combined effects of the OSHA PSM standard and the EPA RMP Rule was estimated to be 75% of the baseline accident/impact rates over the first 5 years of implementation. In fact no statistically valid reduction was found. Following the Texas City accident, the Baker Panel (2007) identified many problems with today's implementation of Process Safety Management (PSM) programs and with Process Safety Culture, not only in BP but the whole industry. The CSB identified similar issues in its assessment (CSB, 2007) as well as important technical integrity issues, beyond the terms of reference of the Baker Panel. In the USA, two major regulations address process safety, OSHA 1910.119 Process Safety Management and the EPA Risk Management Plan regulations (part of the Clean Air Act amendments). These are broadly similar regulations, but OSHA focuses on onsite personnel and EPA focuses on offsite impacts. These regulations have been relatively static since their development in the late 1980's and early 1990's, and enforcement has been less emphasized until after the CSB recommendations to OSHA. A National Emphasis Program is addressing the enforcement issue now for refineries falling under OSHA regulations (Lay et al, 2009). In the EU, by contrast, the primary regulations are driven by the EU Seveso Safety Case Directives and these have been more dynamic, being updated several times in response to the ongoing series of events. The Seveso Directive is implemented differently in every EU country, and thus local incidents also drive regulatory changes (e.g. in France after the Toulouse explosion and in Belgium after the Antwerp pipeline explosion).
ABSTRACT A site investigation is needed prior to any civil engineering construction. The results of this site investigation must lead to recognition of problems related to geology. If the problems related to the geology-structure interaction cannot be handled economically, the structure has to be relocated into more suitable terrains. In some cases, as for line infrastructures (e. g. highways, railroads etc.) this relocation is not always possible. In these cases the problems related to the implementation of the structure into the geology have to be overcome. In this light, karstified areas belong to the most difficult engineering terrains. Although the presence of karst in a certain region can be identified during a site investigation, the exact location of karst voids cannot be predicted with a precision accurate enough for construction. In this contribution, an inventory is made of the possible presence of karst in Belgium. Then 2 case studies are presented in which the particularities of karst of different age (Palaeokarst, Mesozoic karst and Caenozoic karst) are presented. 1 WHERE CAN WE FIND KARST IN BELGIUM One method to analyse the extent of karst in a region consists in mapping outcrops of the lithologies prone to dissolution. In Belgium the areas that could be affected by karst are restricted predominantly toWallonia. In Wallonia the karst is restricted predominantly to Palaeozoic rocks1. In these Palaeozoic rocks the karst is restricted to those that consist of limestone and dolomite, most karst can be found in the limestone (Ek 1996). The occurrence of the outcrops2 of these formations is shown in figure 1. Our contribution will, on the basis of the karst features in Belgium, discuss only the carbonate karst. Brussels the largest city in Belgium, Antwerp the largest city in Flanders and Liège the largest city inWallonia: in fact 94% of the population of Belgium is fenced in by the karst belt, shown in figure 2, which starts in the west near Tournai and continues via Mons and Charleroi to the German border, then it turns north between Liège and the Netherlands border but here in the subsurface. If one wants to connect Belgian cities to Germany or France one has unavoidably to pass this Belgian karst belt. 2 KARST FORMED DURING THREE DIFFERENT GEOLOGICAL ERAS Karst encountered in Belgium was formed either during the Palaeozoic (Visean), Mesozoic (Lias) or during the Caenozoic. 3 CASE I: TUNNEL DE SOUMAGNE Introduction A major achievement of the Belgian railway was the recent construction of a high-speed railroad from Brussels via Liège and Aachen to Cologne. The track Brussels – Liège has been inaugurated 2003. Thereafter construction focused on the section Liège – Aachen. To be able to maintain a high travel velocity the path of the former, rather curved railroad, was not be followed. Unavoidably a tunnel needed to be constructed to pass through some hills on theway from Liège to the plateau de Herve. This tunnel is the Soumagne tunnel (the breakthrough occurred in October 2004).
ABSTRACT: Soft Soil Improvement is an in-situ technique to stabilise soft soil. Recently (1999), a research project at the Soil Mechanics Laboratory of the Ghent University (Department of Civil Engineering) was set up in order to evaluate the influence of the amount and type of grout injected in the soil at high pressures. A test site in Antwerp, called "Zandwinningsput" was chosen. Laboratory tests and model tests were carried out in order to evaluate the influence of grout content under well-controlled conditions. Field tests (CPT and SCPT) were executed in order to evaluate the extent of the improved zone, the variation of the strength characteristics around the injection point and the influence of execution parameters such as pressure, injected grout-volume and penetration speed. INTRODUCTION Soft soil is mainly characterised by large deformations, low strength and high water content. Moreover, soft soils (like dredged fines) are often contaminated by heavy metals or by human activity. Soft Soil Improvement is an in situ technique developed and patented within the DEME (Dredging, Environmental Marine Engineering) Group. It was primarily designed for soil stabilisation in relation with dredging activities. But other applications like immobilisation of heavy metals or other contaminants in the soft soil have been investigated. THE SSI-TECHNIQUE: EQUIPMENT The mixing unit prepares the grout mixture to be injected. According to the required object, different type of agents can be used, such as cement, bentonite, fly ashes, line polymers, etc. A high-pressure pump sends the prepared mixture at pressures up to 400 bars to the injection unit. The computerised unit controls and registers all injection parameters: injection time, operational depth of the mixing blade, torque for the rotation of the mixing blade, down/up speed, rotational speed and the flow of the injected mixture.
ABSTRACT The design of the admittance policy of the Euro-Maas channel to Rotterdam and the Western Scheldt is based on a probabilistic method. With this method, instead if the previously implemented deterministic method, the accessibility of the harbours and safety during the channel transit have been increased without additional dredging costs. 1 Introduction The last few years, the nautical accessibility of the West-European harboum is again in the spotlights. During the sixties and seventies a clear separation developed between harbours who could and harbours who could not adapt to the progressive scale enlarging of the bulk carriers. For example, till the late fifties the maximum draught in Rotterdam, Antwerp as well as Hamburg was all the same: around 40 feet. During the next decades the maximum draught with which the port of Rotterdam could be accessed, kept pace with the huge scaling up of the crude oil-tankers and bulk-carriers. At the moment, each year 350 channel-bound vessels (draught more than 17.40m) arrive at Rotterdam, with a maximum draught up to 22.55m (74 feet). Vessels heading for the Western Scheldt are limited to a draught of 15.00m. Each year more than 400 vessels with a draught more than 11.00m bound for Flushing, Gent & Terneuzen or Antwerp. The design of the admittance policy of the Euro-Maas channel at Rotterdam and the Western Scheldt is based on a probabilistic method. With this probabilistic method, a substantial improvement of the accessibility and safety of both channels has been achievedwith only a minor change of infrastructure. A further scaling up of the bulk carriers and crude oil tankers is not expected. Nevertheless, from the market an urge exists for minimizing the accessibility restrictions.
Synopsis The paper describes the procedures normally adopted for discharging bulk oil cargoes from ocean tankers. Owing to high post-war costs of building and operating tank vessels, the wartime trend towards faster discharging rates and quicker tanker turn-round has continued in peace time. Under ideal conditions the cargo discharging time would depend almost entirely on the oil handling capacity of the tanker's pumps, but in practice various other factors may considerably influence the total hours required. For example, when more than one grade of cargo is carried by the tanker the number of ship's pumps which can safely be operated simultaneously may be limited by risks of cargo contamination or by trim considerations. Similarly the shore discharge facilities which can be allocated to the tanker may be affected by other operations being conducted ashore at the same time. The procedure actually followed during the discharge of a multigrade cargo is frequently a compromise between procedures which suit ship and shore requirements respectively. Best results are usually obtained when there is a reasonable degree of flexibility in both requirements, and when adequate information regarding the cargo disposition and tanker pumping arrangements is available before the vessel arrives. When the tanker is designed and operated by the receiving oil company, many discharging problems are simplified because the design and possibilities of the vessel are known to the shore receiving officials in advance. Where unknown chartered vessels are concerned, information on discharging possibilities obtained only when the vessel arrives may largely nullify advance pre- * Antwerp, .Belgium. parations made ashore to expedite the discharge. In such cases it is sometimes found that comparatively minor changes in the tanker pumping arrangements would considerably improve the operating flexibility. Matters discussed in the paper include disposition of tanker discharge connections, separation between different grades by valves or blank flianges, permissible hose pressure and movement, use of shore steam, discharge of heated cargoes and delays before and after discharging operations. Résumé L'article expose les méthodes normalement employées pour décharger les grosses quantités de produits pétroliers des tankers de haute mer. En raison du coût élevé, après la guerre, de la construction et de l'exploitation des pétroliers, la tendance du temps de guerre vers des vitesses de déchargement plus grandes et une rotation plus rapide des tankers s'est maintenue en temps de paix. Dans des conditions idéales, le temps de déchargement dépendrait presque entièrement du débit des pompes du navire mais, en fait, divers autres facteurs peuvent avoir une influence considérable sur le nombre total d'heures nécessaires. Par exemple, qu