The Valero Port Arthur Refinery was commissioned in 1901 and has had many process additions and improvements in its history. It has a total throughput capacity of 310,000 MBD. The refinery is strategically located on the Texas Gulf Coast, approximately 90 miles east of Houston. Manuel Lozano has over 40 years of experience in Heavy Lifts. This, his third project with Becht Engineering at the Port Arthur Refinery, began in November 2013 as the Senior Heavy Lift Advisor providing onsite support for the 1300 m/t reactor lift for the HCU-942 Hydrocracker Expansion Project.
Responsibilities included participating in lift Contractor/Owner interface discussions and jobsite walk-downs, providing support and documentation to Owner to develop risk mitigation plans and a population control plan, monitoring compliance with approved assembly procedures, and monitoring procedural compliance and rigging practices for the lift.
“The job went well but had its challenges. We were working with live units on all sides so every lift was a critical lift. The wind played a big part at this time of year, which affected our schedule. One of the challenges came as we started the gantry lift, which was scheduled to take all day. After disconnecting the tailing frame, we sprung a leak on one of the strand jacks as we were coming down. Five days later, we set it on the anchor bolts! It certainly was nerve racking leaving 1300 metric tons hanging that long, but with the team we had, including Valero, Mammoet, RCI, Stronghold and, of course Becht Engineering, we addressed and mitigated all risks with daily morning meetings. It was a great team and a pleasure working with such professionals during some trying times.”