17 November 2009 16:43 [Source: ICIS news]
MUMBAI (ICIS news)--The execution of ‘mega cracker’ projects is one of the most challenging and costly undertakings that the contracting industry faces today, said an industry executive on Tuesday.
“The capital expenditure and operating expenditure of mega cracker projects [with ethylene capacities of over 1m tonnes/year] achieve tremendously high monetary figures,” said Roland Walzl, Linde's vice president of sales for olefin plants, at the Indian Petrochem 2009 conference.
“Both are highly affected by process design and so utmost attention must be paid to an optimised and mature process selection,” he added.
He said that the challenges to the construction company were enormous, as 15,000 tonnes of piping, 12,000 tonnes of structural steel and 17,000 tonnes of equipment were typical figures in terms of what had to be erected and put in place.
“Time pressure is a continuous threat since meeting the project schedule is the dominating target throughout the whole project execution,” he added.
He expected cracker sizes to remain stable for a while. “I do not see plants above 2m tonnes/year; there’s not only the technical challenge but also economics of scale. Equipment and bulk materials become more expensive with growing size,” he said.
The Indian Petrochem 2009 conference, being held in Mumbai, ends on Tuesday.
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