Air Products has an established work process for retrofitting Process Safety upgrades into existing facilities. The elements of that work process and examples of how the work process have been applied to existing facilities across the globe will be discussed in this paper.
A Retrofit Standard Assessment (RSA) Team has been established by the Corporate Risk Council and chartered with the task of deciding whether or not to retroactively apply a new or revised standard or identified requirements from a new or revised standard to existing equipment. The RSA Team is comprised of senior technical experts at Air Products including the Corporate Director of Process Safety, Chief Engineer for Process Technology, Chief Engineer for Operations, Process Technology Managers from Engineering teams, and the Director of Operations Excellence. New and revised Engineering and EHS Standards do not apply automatically to existing facilities. The RSA Team bases retrofit decisions on a number of factors, including maximizing risk reduction in existing plants. In addition to changes in company Standards, there are other common drivers for Process Safety retrofits in existing facilities including Process Safety events at similar facilities and changes to industry or regulatory standards. The RSA Team is empowered to make scope decisions for retrofit projects arising from these drivers as well.
Examples of retrofit projects completed within the past decade and current retrofit projects will be discussed in detail, with emphasis on projects undertaken at air separation plants (ASUs) and hydrogen (HYCO) plants.
Additional elements that are necessary for a successful retrofit program include leadership commitment, governance and funding. The incorporation of these elements into the Air Products retrofit work process will also be presented.