Keys for optimising painting works during a stoppage

A scheduled stoppage is a major investment in terms of time and money for any refinery. However, at the same time, also a necessity to carry out maintenance, inspection, innovation and efficiency enhancements. In many cases, stoppages involve hundreds of workers and dozens of subsidiary companies working together.

As a partner of the leading Oil & Gas sector companies in the performance of works during technical stops, DEPISA has identified the keys for optimising corrosion protection coating works to ensure security, production and quality.

Security: Security must fully involve all personnel involved in a stoppage, from the plant manager to specialists. For subsidiaries, working with an extremely demanding approach is essential, even for the recruitment and staff training process, to ensure a responsible, committed attitude to safety. All courses and permits required for specialists to be granted access at any time during the stoppage must be prepared in advance.

Planning: During stoppages, many hours of work are concentrated into a short time-frame, meaning specialists and teams from around the country come together. It is therefore essential to properly plan the human resources and machinery that will be required during the stoppage. It is also vital to ensure the mandatory rest periods for all personnel involved, adequately organise work into shifts, both day-time and night-time, to guarantee optimal coordination of workers and between different activities and jobs.

Flexibility and response capacity: all stoppages involve prior planning of the activities to carry out, but there are always unforeseen events, new customer requirements, etc., which necessitate more personnel. To ensure the stoppage is successful, the companies involved must have enough flexibility to respond in situations with a wide range of staff variation during stoppages, wherein demand can shift from 20 workers to 100 very quickly.

Also, during the stoppage, unscheduled works or problems arise and require fast solutions. Only high levels of specialisation combined with the expertise and experience of the personnel involved allow fast, optimal responses for customers. During one of the most recent BP Oil stoppages in Castellón, for example, the planned surface preparation technique had to be changed. Dry-ice blasting was performed to clean furnace pipes in the hydrogen plant, as a conventional abrasive could not be used.

Coordination: During a stoppage, different jobs must be coordinated accurately to perform the works most optimally. On many occasions, there are even activities that should be done during specific shifts, such as the abrasive blasting that tends to be at night-time, when other employees are not at work.

The DEPISA guarantee

With five decades of experience, DEPISA has become the leading corrosion protection company. A name synonymous with rigour, always honouring commitments for highly demanding and complex projects, such as refinery stoppages. With its commitment to security, planning, flexibility and response capacity, DEPISA has earned the trust of the Oil & Gas sector’s leading companies. Among the most recent examples, there is the BP Oil plant, where over 34,000 hours of work were carried out during the general Castellón refinery stoppage. Or at the Repsol refinery in Tarragona, where DEPISA completed, as the only contractor, the works during the stoppage last May.