500 contracted persons to participate in turnaround at Yara’s ammonia factory

A turnaround lasting 41 days will be undertaken at Yara’s ammonium factory (NII) from 16 September. This is a routine stoppage that is carried out every four years. A large investment project will also be completed in addition to the turnaround.

Anders Omholt, Maintenance Manager at Yara’s ammonia factory

Bilfinger has the main responsibility for the turnaround and will supply around 400 employees, and a number of investment projects will also be carried out. The replacement of a transfer line – a gas transfer between two units in the NII factory, is the largest individual project. Yara’s project coordinator in Brussels is responsible for this job, and NLI has been contracted for its execution. This investment project will result in this year’s turnaround being a somewhat longer stoppage than usual. Norsk Gjenvinning Industritjenester will be responsible for cleaning and the replacement of the catalyst during the stoppage. In total, a crew of around 500 persons will be at work during the turnaround.

Flaring

"There will be some flaring during the shutdown of the factory and when it becomes operational again," says Anders Omholt, Maintenance Manager of the NII factory. "This is completely normal in such situations. When the factory is shut down, we must empty it of flammable gas. When the factory is started up following the stoppage, flaring will be carried out until production has returned to normal."

Yara’s maintenance department has defined the main tasks during the turnaround and Bilfinger has had responsibility for the detailed planning. Bilfinger has a maintenance agreement with Yara, so the division of work is in line with usual procedures.

Focus on HSE

"Our own maintenance organisation has ten employees," says Omholt. "During the stoppage 500 professionals will be hard at work. Most of them are not familiar with the factory, so great emphasis will be placed on HSE during the work.

Same as the stoppage completed four years ago

Bilde av Terje Fuglset

Terje Fuglset, Project Manager in Bilfinger

"This year’s turnaround will be very similar to the stoppage we completed four years ago," says Terje Fuglset, the project manager responsible for Bilfinger’s deliveries during the turnaround.

Yara has outsourced the turnaround to Bilfinger, who received the work basis from Yara early in June. Bilfinger’s staff then spent three weeks verifying the estimates that were made by the client, before the parties fine-tuned the work basis in collaboration. Around midsummer, the parties agreed on a budget for the turnaround, and this forms the basis for all the work that will be completed during the turnaround’s hectic weeks.

40,000 worked hours in a few hectic weeks

"We have planned every single activity during the turnaround in detail," explains Fuglset. "Bilfinger will supply around 400 employees, divided across ten areas. In total, we will contribute just under 40,000 worked hours during the turnaround. The coordination of scaffolding work and industrial cleaning / catalyst replacement that will be carried out by Norsk Gjenvinning will also be important works during the stoppage."

Around half of the staff are Bilfinger’s employees – the rest will be hired from 25 different sub-suppliers. Most of the hired employees will come from local companies, but professionals will also be brought in from Denmark, Sweden, Poland and Portugal.

Yara’s "Golden Rules" form the basis for all safety work

"We have worked intensely to prepare for the stoppage, as we always do," says Fuglset. "The work has been ongoing since winter, and it has been a demanding process. It is important that everything is planned effectively since this is a short stoppage. We quite simply do not have time to make mistakes. We base our work on our experience. The maintenance agreement that Bilfinger has with Yara forms the basis for the work.

Both Bilfinger and Yara will have an intense focus on HSE during the turnaround. Yara’s "Golden Rules" form the basis for all safety work during the stoppage. Work at height has been highlighted as a particularly important area. This means a focus on the securing of personnel, the prevention of dropped objects and the securing of tools.