Methanex New Zealand Ltd
Methanex contracted TBS to remove existing brick and ceramic fibre modules from the “coffin walls” and auxillary burner zone inside the Meth 2 Reformer.
The shutdown involved the management of 50 staff and some 30,000 labour hours. Work was performed over a 6 week period involving closely supervised, night and day shift rotation on a 12 day fortnight basis.
Such an intensive work program ensured that the plant was out of commission for the shortest time possible so as to minimise cost while not compromising Quality or Health and Safety standards.
Prior to refurbishment work commencing in the reformer, all the areas identified as requiring repair or replacement had to be demolished. The breakout of old silica refractory necessitated the use of disposable overalls and battery powered breathing apparatus to mitigate the risk associated with cristobalite fibres.
The reformer is classified as a confined space which required strict entry and exit procedures for all staff to comply with. Staff also had to contend with carrying out heavy physical work inside a relatively hot working environment with multiple layers of protective clothing and equipment.