Watch: One-million-pound project completed at Robinson refinery

Business News

Crews removed the existing Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit (FCCU) Reactor to prepare for installation of the new reactor.

During a recent upgrade at Marathon Petroleum’s Robinson, Illinois, refinery, employees and contractors worked together to successfully install a new Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit (FCCU) Reactor, weighing in at nearly one million pounds.

The FCCU Reactor Optimization Project was part of the refinery’s recent turnaround, an industry term for planned maintenance and upgrades. The project consisted primarily of installation of the new FCCU reactor, which will use the latest  in technology and improve overall unit efficiencies to save energy while boosting production of gasoline and other products.

Installation of the new reactor required the use of a single 2,500-ton capacity crane that was so large it took crews close to 200 semi loads and 30 days to assemble.

“The sheer size and scope of this project upgrade was impressive,” said Jim Perry, FCCU Reactor Optimization Project Engineer. “To watch it come together in real-time makes it even more impressive, knowing the number of hours and coordination it took to complete this project.”

The Robinson refinery, a seven-time recipient of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® award, consistently ranks in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for meeting the program’s strict energy efficiency performance levels.

“We continually invest in performance upgrades at the refinery—safety being at the very top of the list,” said Amy Macak, Refinery General Manager at Robinson. “To watch our employees and contractors work together on a project of this scale was a sight to see.”

TIme lapse of field fabrication for new reactor

Field fabrication of the new reactor started in May 2019 and culminated in the turnaround at the Robinson facility, which utilized over 2,000 employees and contractors and took 51 days and approximately one million project hours to complete.

Crews attend a pre-lift safety meeting during the installation of the new reactor at the Robinson refinery.