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L&T completes HPCL’s Mumbai Refinery expansion project

Monday, 09 Aug 2021
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The modification, revamp and upgrade (MRU) business unit of Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Heavy Engineering has completed the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation’s (HPCL) Mumbai Refinery expansion project from 7.5 million tpa to 9.5 million tpa, produce BS-VI compliant petrol and high-speed diesel ahead of the deadline despite COVID-19 challenges. 
The project, which started amid the peak second wave of COVID-19 pandemic on 15 April 2021, was completed on 16 June 2021. 
HPCL is now into final stage of making the plant operational. The MRU team completed concurrent shutdown of four plants – atmospheric pipe still, naphtha stabilising unit, continuous catalyst regenerator and fluid catalytic cracking unit at the Mumbai Refinery. 
The task for L&T was cut out with the replacement, modification and dismantling of over 180 critical equipment, 1,30,000 fabrication of pipe spools and other components. 
This is one of the most complex and biggest revamps till date, that too in a refinery that was in operation. 
Even before starting the work, L&T had planned pre-shutdown work when the refinery was in operation. To de-risk, the MRU team had to modify some of the critical heat exchangers and pump foundations in live plant to complete the project without delay. 
The HPCL project started during the second wave of COVID-19 at Mumbai which was the worst affected with labourers fleeing the city. 
In a move to overcome the issue, the MRU team planned the shutdown with several automation and digitalisation initiatives, besides engaging with labour forces at the labour camp assuring them medical and financial support. 
This helped the MRU team minimise labour shortage to 30 percent compared to 70 percent experienced by other contractors. The availability of oxygen was another challenge as it was diverted for medical purposes. 
This challenge was mitigated by proactive use of alternative means of cutting like diamond wire rope cutting and plasma cutting. 
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