Hellenic Petroleum SA holds a leading position in the Greek energy sector, as well as in the greater area of Southeast Europe. In Greece, the Group owns and operates three refineries, in Aspropyrgos, Elefsina and Thessaloniki. The three refineries, combined, cover 76% of the country’s total refining capacity.
As in many refineries and other industrial facilities all over the world, the as-built status of existing equipment and components of the Aspropyrgos refinery is poorly documented. Documentation consists mainly of 2D drawings which are geometrically inaccurate, incomplete and eventually obsolete. Furthermore, for many years, all designed expansions, repairs and maintenance works have been based on those existing drawings, resulting in on-site undocumented interventions, making the situation worse.
Everyday maintenance and management tasks represent a significant part of the refinery’s operation cost. To reduce these costs, HELPE SA investigated methodologies to create a reliable as-built registry of its existing equipment, which, through industry standard solutions will incorporate the results in everyday operation of the facility.
Thus, a pilot plant survey and intelligent 3D modeling project was awarded for the Vacuum Gas Oil Storage Area (of medium difficulty), in order to demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed methodology under real conditions, to reveal possible problems, to clarify the owner’s requirements regarding the contents and level of detail of the intelligent 3D model and attached information, to define the format of deliverables (3D model and digital drawings’ specifications) and finally to ensure the smooth incorporation of the results to the operational procedures of the refinery.
The pilot project’s area is approximately 27,400 sq.m. large and includes, among other equipment, 4 storage tanks, about 300 pipes and a rather complicated pump station with 19 pumps. The project’s tasks were elaborated in two phases:
Phase A consisted of the 3D laser scanning survey works, including:
Phase B consisted of the intelligent 3D modeling process, using industry standard plant 3D modeling software, including:
The above 3D model was made easily available to the owner in 3D PDF format, together with its attached component database tree structure. Furthermore, the final intelligent 3D model was used to automatically extract updated sample digital drawings for the surveyed pilot area.
Intelligent 3D Models of plant establishments have proven to be an essential tool for plant management, maintenance and design. In addition to the geometric accuracy that a simple 3D CAD model can provide, an intelligent 3D model associates every object with a library of components and their full specifications, thus reflecting the true as-built geometrical and – most important – functional state of the plant at the time of the site survey.
Using appropriate reverse engineering software tools, an intelligent 3D model can be used to automatically generate any kind of drawing (PlotPlans, General Arrangement, Isometrics, P&IDs, EFDs), to design expansion components, to perform collision checking, to extract material lists, to schedule maintenance tasks, to perform stress analysis and other calculations and even to totally monitor, control and manage a plant environment.