New reactor in La Rábida

Cepsa has installed a new reactor, with the aim of extending the life of the catalyst while also increasing the period between maintenance shutdowns from 18 months to 36.

How did we do it?

Carrying out a major strategic plan with great teamwork enabled Cepsa to successfully install a new reactor (hydrocracker) at the La Rábida refinery. It was a milestone in Cepsa’s modernization plan.

As it was a refurbishment of an existing unit, already in service and with limited space to carry out the work, the project was divided into two phases, coinciding with the unit’s catalysis cycle.

This allowed certain pieces of equipment (heat exchangers) to be removed in the first phase, leaving room for the new ones (reactor and heater), which will be installed in the second phase.

The opportunity was also taken to adjust the workforce required and to carry out other works, including the installation of new equipment, instrumentation and piping, with the aim of ensuring that this new part of the circuit would be operational during the construction phases.

The result

The intense detailed studies, together with exhaustive planning, enabled a new reactor, 45 meters in length and weighing 400 tons, to be successfully installed, while maintaining strict standards of safety and quality, and in the required time frame.

As can be seen in this video, there was only limited space for the installation of this huge piece of equipment. Moreover, transporting it from the port of Huelva to the refinery required a major effort of coordination between the Engineering, Operations and Construction teams.

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Revamping of the Hydrocracker Project