Resourcefulness at the Ready

The Enbridge Ajax Gas Processing Plant ​​in Wheeler, Texas, is a cryogenic natural gas processing plant with a capacity of 150 million cubic feet per day. The new plant is designed to extract natural gas liquids and produce pipeline-quality natural gas from wellhead-quality natural gas streams. PCL Industrial Construction Co. (PICCo) installed all structural steel, equipment, piping, and electrical work, including switchgear and transformers, and more than 16,000 linear feet of cable tray and 280,000 linear feet of cable and wire.

Flexibility in Labor Sourcing

The Enbridge Ajax Gas Processing Plant in Wheeler, TXThe Enbridge Ajax Gas Processing Plant in
Wheeler, TX

Raw natural gas is chilled to -120 degrees Fahrenheit to distill impurities from the product.Raw natural gas is chilled to -120 degrees
Fahrenheit to distill impurities from the product.

When local craft workers are unavailable, PICCo has the ability to draw on a seasoned team of tradespeople who can travel to remote, rural projects. This flexible approach aligned with Enbridge’s desire to realize savings on labor costs and effectively staff their project, regardless of location. The cost to mobilize various subcontractors is traditionally higher for a rural project than for an urban one. After careful consideration, PICCo decided to hire one subcontractor to perform insulation, scaffolding, painting, and fireproofing services, rather than multiple subcontractors. This flexible, single-source labor solution increased productivity because the subcontractor was able to assign workers to best advantage: relocating scaffold builders to help with the insulation, painters to help build scaffolding, and insulators to help with the painting.

Mitigating Schedule Impacts

After the award of the project, Enbridge made several key design changes to improve plant performance, one of the most significant being a modification to the flash gas system. These revisions increased the efficiency of the processing unit and made the installation more environmentally friendly.

Improvements to equipment and piping can create a domino effect on equipment and material procurement. Piping delivery, originally scheduled for July 2012, wasn’t completed until January 2013. In addition, some pieces of equipment did not arrive until February 2013, two months after the original project completion date. Faced with these delays, PICCo had to lay off the craft workers hired to install the pipe, to manage overhead costs and maintain overall project productivity. Throughout the project, PICCo’s field supervision team accurately tracked the scope and budget changes and reported them to Enbridge in a timely manner, enabling them to manage any increased project costs.
Despite the six-month setback in material and equipment procurement and three weeks lost to weather, PICCo recovered three months of the schedule delay and attained mechanical completion by the first week of April. This was achieved by more than 380 team members who established a pervasive safety culture, resulting in no recordable or lost-time injuries on the year-long project.
“This was Enbridge’s first time working with PCL in this part of the country,” said Allan M. Schneider, VP Engineering & Project Execution Major Projects, Enbridge Energy Company, Inc. “We were impressed with the professionalism of the organization and the conduct of the project. In particular, a couple of areas really stood out in my mind: a truly outstanding safety performance throughout the project and the quality and lack of rejects on the welding was impressive. A truly outstanding process was followed for planning out the work to help ensure an efficient construction process. Overall, Enbridge enjoyed working with PCL on this project.”

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