In 1998, Destec Engineering performed a world first when it commenced preliminary cutting to remove the Regenerator Head at the Coryton Refinery, UK – 25 days in advance of day 1 of the planned turnaround start date, allowing the head to be lifted on mechanical day 2.
Cutting of both the vessel shell and internal refractory was carried out dry, from the outside. and included all necessary weld preparation ready for reinstatement of the head.
The dry cutting operation is carried out using portable milling or grinding equipment running on two circumferential, parallel rails, fixed either side of the cut line. The method is relatively quick, with very little post operative cleaning – unlike water jet cutting, which can take as long as 10 days to 'mop-up'. Thus, the method effectively reduces overall plant down time and is very environmentally friendly.