A breathe of fresh air for workers inside confined areas

Indian Oil Corporation Limited
Barauni, Bihar

Background

Barauni refinery is owned and operated by Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) in the Begusarai District Bihar, India. It was built in collaboration with the Soviet Union. Barauni Refinery was commissioned in 1964 with a refining capacity of 1 million tonnes per year.

Problems

During the shut down of the refinery, maintenance work like welding and repairing was required to be done inside the columns and reactors. At a time nearly 100 workers were supposed to be working inside these confined areas.
During the replacement of strip lining in the column welding and riveting job, lots of toxic gas/fumes were generated and the percentage of oxygen level decreased. Which lead to an unhealthy work environment inside the column. Due to welding work and the presence of a large number of people inside the columns the temperature increased to high levels, approximately (48 – 50 o C) with high relative humidity.
With the depletion of oxygen in the air and toxic fumes, it became very difficult for the workers to work inside the column continuously for a longer time. They would take frequent breaks and would sit outside after a small session inside. Thus, the productivity of the worker was affected that delayed the completion of the project.
The time frame for the shut down of the tower was very limited. Hence a quick action was required for worker’s comfort and maintaining the right RH.

Our Solution

After discussing the problems, with our highly skilled technicians, Technical Drying Services (TDS) provided the right solution. TDS suggested using TDS Dehumidifier to lower the relative humidity.
TDS Desiccant type Dehumidifiers were connected to the Column. 1MVB 2500, was placed at the ground level, 1 FFB 1000 installed at a height of 22 meters, 1FFB 600 installed at a height of 30 meters. All the equipment was connected with collapsible PVC fabric ducts to the column to feed dry air. The system provided 30 air changes per hour.
This resulted in maintaining the relative humidity to 45-46% and provided fresh air.

Benefits

  • Toxic fumes/gases were removed which created a comfortable working conditions for workers
  • Worker productivity improved
  • By avoiding work interruptions the contractor avoided costly work delays
  • Jobs were completed in the scheduled time
  • Welding quality improved
  • Controlled humidity allowed strip lining to be done without corrosion

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