Weighing about 1.5 million pounds and operating at 760 degrees Celsius, the regenerator at Suncor’s Edmonton Refinery is a massive piece of equipment. Assembling and installing a new one was an undertaking 2 years in the making.

Melloy Industrial Services’ supervision team began planning onsite in autumn of 2016.The following year, new 15-foot-by-15-foot lifting lugs were installed on the old regenerator while it was still in use. These lugs had to be attached to the existing shell in individual pieces as the shell wasn’t uniform in dimension. Bracing was installed to keep the stress on the shell to a minimum while the regenerator was hoisted out and laid on its side during the turnaround.

The new regenerator was assembled in pre-turnaround, leaving the removal of the old unit and the installation of the new one for the turnaround window in 2018. This required increasing craft and crew sizes strategically to get the work done without deviating from Suncor’s schedule.

Our performance during the planning and pre-turnaround phases awarded us additional scope in the turnaround including the critical path replacement of 1,700 meters of their 36-inch Monel flare line. In all, the 2018 turnaround was the largest ever completed at the Edmonton Refinery and the largest completed by Melloy. This led to us being chosen as a long-term general maintenance provider for Suncor, including day-to-day maintenance, turnarounds and projects.

Keeping the refractory dry during fabrication was critical on the new shell structure, so the project team designed a removable cover utilizing a 30-foot diameter grain bin and two courses. This innovation allowed new internals to be easily installed without damaging the refractory. The regenerator head was supported on the second structure to accommodate the installation, welding of the cyclones and other internals. Once each section was completed, the head was lifted and set into the shell to be welded.

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