Case Study – Distillation Plant: Huntsman

February 12, 2012

Case Study - Distillation Plant: Huntsman

Teams from Zeton and Huntsman collaborated on a distillation pilot plant that Huntsman required for an inherently hazardous process, starting in the early conceptual design stages and whiteboard technical discussions. With a rigorous set of requirements and conditions, the large-scale modular plant needed by Huntsman would demand excellent project organization. From these preliminary discussions a joint cooperative effort and highly innovative plant design would emerge.

Project: Hazardous Duty Distillation Pilot Plant for Huntsman

More about the Distillation Pilot Plant System:

  • The downstream processing section of the modular distillation plant contained several separation columns;
  • The distillation pilot plant needed to be connected and integrated into an existing outdoor pilot plant at an industrial site;
  • Industry and site standards, and ATEX classification requirements would apply to this project.

The Design and Build: Distillation Pilot Plant

Both project managers at Zeton and Huntsman diligently sought the right people in the early stages of the project to ensure it was executed with a clear end-goal focus. The team spirit and trust were an important factor for the process and safety design elements of the project, and Zeton’s designers worked closely with Huntsman personnel to make the optimal selections for all the requirements of a high hazard plant and the scale-specific needs of the process equipment.

Huntsman’s engineers were closely involved in the evaluation and selection of specific equipment, instruments and process solutions, led by Zeton; on several occasions the Huntsman team accompanied Zeton’s engineers when in discussion with key suppliers and company visits. This joint approach ensured Zeton’s scale-specific designs would be implemented successfully and supported the decision to move away from Huntsman’s corporate standards in instances where safer and more practical alternatives were identified.

To meet a key requirement for Huntsman, reducing the risk of misalignment at site, the process modules were fully assembled and tested in Zeton’s high bay construction shop in their natural arrangement and orientation. The AC and DC electrical cabinets were installed in a separate non-ATEX rated container, to be located in a safe area in close proximity to the plant.

Zeton’s in-house expertise and knowledge of the Emerson DeltaVTM control system provided an efficient and timely implementation of the extended control system for the pilot plant, allowing for a more comprehensive factory test in Zeton’s shop and facilitating smooth integration of the new pilot plant into the existing site infrastructure.

Assembly of the completed pilot plant within a single vertical skid module simplified disassembly, transport and reassembly at the plant site. Only a stair-tower module and the single process module had to be transported. Electrical, process and utility hook-ups were completed quickly with little intrusion to existing commercial operations.

As a company that dares to think differently and offer innovative solutions and approaches to project execution, Zeton is proud to have been chosen by Huntsman to design and build this important distillation pilot plant. Great teamwork beginning in the early stages was a key success factor in completing this novel state-of-the-art modular pilot plant project, where only a narrow window was available to match the process, site and safety requirements.

“As the project manager for this project, I can say that to manage and deliver a pilot plant to the Huntsman business together with an experienced company like Zeton makes for a project that everyone can be proud of. Zeton is the company to realize pilot plants — their knowledge, experience and true partnership are the components that made this project successful for Huntsman.”
– Seger van Dam, Project Manager

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