Project Synopsis

Evaluation of an existing firewater system’s hydraulics to determine capacity, supply pressure, and modification options to support a new refinery processing unit.

Project Summary


The client provides mechanical engineering and drafting services for an independent petroleum refinery in Montana. The client hired Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) to conduct an evaluation of the existing refinery firewater system hydraulics in association with proposed firewater project work to determine capacity and supply pressure to firewater users at the location of a new processing unit.  PROCESS developed a hydraulic model of the system in Excel and tuned the model to plant data collected by PROCESS and operating personnel.  PROCESS then provided the client with debottleneck options to improve the carrying capacity within the limitations of the existing pump station.  The client incorporated the recommendations into the overall firewater project to comply with NFPA 24.

This project was on a tight execution schedule in order to ensure the overall construction project schedule was not adversely impacted. PROCESS was able to meet all schedule milestones. The deliverables resulting from this project, including preliminary process flow diagrams (PFDs) for the recommended modifications, a comparison of the pump curve to the hydraulic system curve, and an economic comparison of the available options to assist the client in choosing the best option for implementation, were compiled in a project report submitted to the client.

Industry Type

  • Industrial Firewater System

Utilized Skills

  • Hydraulics modeling
  • Operational data collection
  • Debottlenecking
  • Economic comparison of options

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