Crude Unit No. 2
Great Falls, Mont.           
Best Project

Owner Calumet Montana Refining LLC
Lead Design Merrick & Co.
Structural, Civil & MEP Engineer Merrick & Co.
Process Engineer Ascent Engineering
General Contractor JH Kelly

The client sought increased processing capacity to ensure the long-term economic viability of the refinery. The Calumet Montana project expanded the crude-oil refinery from a capacity of 9,800 barrels per stream day (BPSD) to nearly 20,000 BPSD, and future allowances for 30,000 BPSD with minimal modifications.

The unit processes heavy, sour and high-acid content (known as high TAN) crudes. This crude and vacuum-distillation unit is unique because only a handful of new crude-processing units have been installed in the U.S. recently.

A 500-person workforce began construction in winter 2014. The engineering and procurement team met an ambitious schedule to keep the construction on track, including equipment inspections in vendor shops to ensure that the equipment met the design requirements and that all interface locations were placed properly to reduce rework in the field.

The project’s ship-in-a-bottle complexity required a layout for numerous pieces of equipment and extensive piping. Merrick designed and reviewed the six equipment structures and multiple equipment platforms. They were created for ease of use and proper egress while providing removable railings and correct equipment orientation for smooth constructibility and future maintenance.

Merrick also evaluated piping and equipment to recommend upgraded alloy metallurgy and balance long-term material integrity and cost. In addition, the six equipment structures were strategically interconnected at multiple levels for maximum safety, operability and ease of maintenance.

This project helps ensure North American energy independence by providing reliable transportation fuels from North American crude supply.

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