Planning our success at the Altona refinery

Planning our success at the Altona refinery

We’ve worked on various projects for multiple clients at Victoria’s Altona refinery for nearly two decades.

Since 1999, our site staff have delivered more than 900 Better Ways to the Altona site improving safety and saving millions of dollars. The team saved $3.6 million in 2016, $3 million in 2015 and $2 million in 2014 through Better Way initiatives.

In January 2013, we started planning for a large turnaround project for ExxonMobil. However, the client deferred the works for an interminable time.

What this meant

Some operations required during the turnaround were urgent, so we needed to be flexible and willing to provide minor maintenance where necessary.

Throughout 2013, we provided many low-scale shutdown operations and by May 2014 – when the turnaround we had originally planned commenced – our scope had grown to integrate eight additional projects.

The result

Our comprehensive planning and strong teamwork meant the turnaround was completed without any problems. We dealt with the technical and operational challenges through a unified approach and excellent communication. There were no injuries or industrial action throughout the works.

Demonstrating innovation

At Altona in 2015, we performed several other turnarounds and made further improvements to our already lauded service.

We installed confined space video cameras on towers and vessels with multiple access hatches, and linked them to a common view screen. They had the capacity to tilt, zoom and pan the camera’s lens to suit the view the operator required.

Multiple benefits derived from this action. It reduced the number of required ‘hole watchers’ as one person could monitor multiple zones, thus saving labour costs and increasing efficiency. Using the confined space cameras was safer, with monitoring and assessments possible from a safe distance. Additionally, it meant site staff could quickly inspect these areas and record the film to show others if a second opinion or any support was required.