Our improvement plan
Our improvement plan
As part of our journey to improve our performance at the Commerce City Refinery, we have developed a Spotlight Series. This series will highlight stories that demonstrate the progress we have made to improve our performance and communications to ultimately become a better neighbor and regain the community’s trust.
In the coming months, we will continue to share regular updates focused on improving the refinery’s safety, reliability, culture and training as we implement both the required and voluntary actions from the Improvement Plan that we shared with the community in April 2021.
Safety and Reliability: Turnaround Spotlight
In May and June 2021, we underwent turnaround in Plants 1 and 3. Turnaround is a planned event where we shut down specific areas for cleaning, inspection, repair and replacement of equipment to enhance reliability for approximately the next five years. This is a major part of our refinery’s preventative maintenance strategy and requires an incredible amount of proactive planning. In fact, we plan turnaround two years in advance, using our regular equipment checks to help us determine the specific projects we should complete.
When planning the routine maintenance activities that should occur during each turnaround event, we focus on three areas: maintaining and improving integrity, ensuring reliability and making upgrades and improvements. Our commitment to taking care of the refinery and protecting our people and the community is why we spent about 60 days and $200 million dollars on various projects during the latest turnaround. We are grateful to our customers and the community for their patience and understanding while we completed this work. The number of emissions exceedances from this year’s work decreased 28% compared to the last turnaround in 2016, and the duration of emissions decreased by 56%.
Continuous improvement in safety, reliability and environmental performance at the refinery is of the utmost importance, with an aim to reduce our impact to the community while continuing to provide the fuels Colorado requires. You can learn more specifics about our recent safety and reliability work completed during turnaround – including the upgrades made to our Plant 1 fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCC) automatic shutdown system – in the video below.
Message from Christina Henderson, the Director of Maintenance and Reliability at Colorado’s Commerce City Refinery
Christina Henderson (00:05):
I’m Christina Henderson, the Director of Maintenance and Reliability at Colorado’s Commerce City Refinery.
Christina Henderson (00:19):
Over the past several months, we have been on a journey to improve our performance and share information to regain the community’s trust and be a better neighbor.
Today, I want to spotlight the progress that was made to improve the refinery’s safety and reliability as a result of a recent Turnaround.
Christina Henderson (00:30):
Turnaround is a planned maintenance event that occurs at the refinery once every five years and focuses on upgrades to improve safety, reliability and environmental performance.
Christina Henderson (00:42):
Because Turnaround is a critical part of our refinery’s proactive maintenance strategy, we are committed to doing it right.
Eighteen hundred contractors with specialized skills worked around the clock for approximately sixty days to execute repairs, inspections and upgrades totaling over two hundred million dollars to help ensure safe and reliable operations for the future.
Christina Henderson (00:56):
Some examples of the upgrades and improvements made include:
- Replacing piping systems and vessels;
- Updating electrical and control systems; and
- Conducting over one thousand inspections and completing necessary repairs to ensure the integrity of our equipment.
We also improved the shutdown and start-up processes to reduce emissions.
Christina Henderson (01:12):
A significant improvement project during this Turnaround was the upgrade of automatic shutdown systems for one of our gasoline-making units – the fluid catalytic cracking unit, also known as an FCC – in Plant 1.
Christina Henderson (01:42):
Thanks to technological advancements, the upgrades made to the FCC have enabled computerized shut offs, eliminating the need to rely on a manual operator, and decreased shut off time from minutes to less than a second.
These upgrades are a significant investment that directly impacts our refinery’s safety, reliability, and environmental performance.
Christina Henderson (02:06):
As we continue this journey, we are proud of the important maintenance work that took place during Turnaround. We look forward to sharing updates with the community as we continue to focus on the refinery’s safety and reliability, culture, and training.