DOW’s Crack More Ethane Project
Plaquemine, La.               
Best Project

Owner: Dow Chemical Co.
Lead Design Firm/Structural/Civil/MEP: Foster Wheeler
General Contractor: Turner Industries Group LLC
Subcontractors: Brand; ISC Constructors; Petrin Corp.; Turner Specialty Service; TEAM Industrial Services

Dow’s Crack More Ethane project sought to increase the ethane cracking capacity at the site’s LHC 3 unit by nearly 25% while maintaining flexibility to switch propane feedstock.

Much of the work on this four-phase, 28-month ethane-production expansion involved piping removal and installation. Teams installed more than 50,000 ft of new pipe, with an average diameter of 8 in. and ranging from as small as ½ in. to 36 in. For cost savings and convenience, most of the piping spools were fabricated at the contractor’s offsite fabrication facility.

To meet the project’s high welding standards, only recommended welders were retained, thereby keeping the field-weld rejection rate below 1%.

Daily meetings helped keep the project team on track, particularly through several management personnel changes on the client’s side.

Crews completed more than 850,000 man-hours with no safety incidents. The contractor required one onsite safety specialist for every 50 employees. The schedule called for an ongoing night shift nearly as large as the day shift, so additional lighting was strategically placed throughout the unit.

Mitigating the Louisiana heat was crucial. Cool-down stations were placed at key locations and equipped with humidifier fans, benches and water coolers under an open-sided tent. Freeze pops were dispensed at scheduled afternoon breaks, and employees were required to take scheduled breaks based on the task they were doing.

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