Engineering Horizons



July 17
07:45 2014

By: Zeeshan Ahmed Aziz, Unit Manager Maintenance, Engro Fertilizers Limited.


faiz1 300x196 AN IN HOUSE EXPERIENCE OF DISMANTLING  OF 1967 AMMONIA PLANT  In 1964 Esso USA decided to establish a giant ammonia urea fertilizer plant in Daharki on Mari Gas reserves. Initially the plant has an annual Urea fertilizer capacity of 400 Met tons per day , which was later debottlenecked to 800 Met per day. The plant started production on 4 December 1968.

In 1991 Exxon was renamed as Engro Fertilizers Limited. In 1991, the company started the construction of another Ammonia-Urea train, having Ammonia capacity of 1670 Met per day. With this new plant coming in production in 1993, the plant in discussion was shutdown as the new plant has the capacity to provide ammonia for both Old & New Urea plants.

Since then subject plant was kept shutdown & under mothballing for selling or any other new venture. In 2013, company decided to dismantle subject plant with a combination of in-house resources & a local contractor to make a balance mix between cost & earning. Initially internationally & nationally reputed experts were contacted for dismantling but owing to the high cost they were dropped after preliminary evaluation.

Below story narrates the successful dismantling.

faiz3 300x213 AN IN HOUSE EXPERIENCE OF DISMANTLING  OF 1967 AMMONIA PLANTEstablishing Project Team:

Client established a 12-member project management staff, which was selected in accordance with roles and responsibilities for each discipline, with emphasis on task-specific experience. The project was led by Project Leader having ~13 years of plant maintenance experience with dedicated resource on engineering, mechanical execution, electrical, instrumentation, data & document controller & plant operations.

The project monitoring was done by a Steering committee comprising of Site Executive, Project Manager & Finance manager of the company. Monthly updates were given to the above mentioned team for status & advice.


Base Line Documents Development:

The assigned team was asked to finalize following in similar priority:

  1. Contracting Strategy
  2. Health, Safety & Environment Protocols
  3. Engineering to be done for dismantling as the maximum allowed capacity crane was of 250 Tons due to adjacent urea plant & underground lines.
  4. Development of Management of Change for Mechanical items which includes :
  • faiz4 300x213 AN IN HOUSE EXPERIENCE OF DISMANTLING  OF 1967 AMMONIA PLANTEngineering Calculations
  • Quality control / quality assurance plan if equipment is cut or rigging arrangement fabricated
  • Removal Checklist
  • Rigging Plans
  1. Planning of duration & Bar Chart development
  2. Loading & dispatch Plans
  3. Marking of live & redundant lines
  4. Identifying components to be kept by Client & to be shipped by contractor
  5. Transporting from middle of Pakistan till port city of Karachi
  6. Prefabricating modified support & Installing at live lines.
  7. Civil works (Removal of Foundations )
  8. Electrical & Instrumentation items removal thru Management of Change document
  9. Acceptance certification by client
  10. Preparing a “Project Close Out package”

Handing over to plant operations for final acceptance

Execution Story:

Contractor Mobilization:

Planning, dismantling & dispatch to buyer although seems to be simple but it took 12 months & 0.15 Million man-hours. Once the multidisciplinary task team from Local Contractor mobilized at Daharki site, they first obtained all available information (drawing, data sheets, maintenance history, Management of Change documents, Rigging plans etc.) related to the plants from the client, and then started the lines marking, process the information gathered and prepared their execution plans.

Owing to the health of old equipment, many new discoveries came forward during execution which was dealt accordingly.

Scheduling, cost and documentation control. From the start of the project, the client assembled a dedicated and specialized team with responsibilities for scheduling, cost control and data / document control. Weekly updates were issued to all relevant covering major highlights with respect to HSE & progress.


Contractor hired 100% local labor for civil, piping, mechanical, electrical and instrumentation activities. Technicians, welders, helpers and laborers (maximum 160 in a day ). The methodology employed for project control was based on project Management institute protocol as at site we have certified Project Management professionals.

Vehicles Used:

In total 8 cranes ranging capacity from 25 Tons to 250 Tons were used.

Important Milestones:

  • The maximum individual weight lifted was 83 Tons.
  • Maximum height of equipment removed was 225 feet.
  • The Ammonia converter having a wall thickness of 5”, has to be cut in two pieces to make it under crane capacity.
  • Special rigging jigs were fabricated for removal of 193’ Furnace stacks as there were no lifting lugs.
  • Both Towers has to be cut into 5 pieces & at each step lugs has to be fabricated & installed.


Health, safety and the environment:

As Engro fertilizers limited is a Dupont Safety compliant site therefore, adherence to HSE rules and regulations was of utmost importance. With zero lost-time incidents, 01 Restricted Work case & 75 Nearmisses , performance was judged to be very good due to:


  1. Client, project and construction management commitment
  2. Checklist implementation
  3. Advanced safety audits
  4. Daily permits-to-work controls
  5. Project personnel training and daily briefings (30% of total project man-hours)
  6. Job safety analysis
  7. Refractory & insulation Handling procedures
  8. Catalyst handling & disposing procedure thru Pakistan Government Environmental Protection agency certified handler
  9. Lessons learned distribution
  10. Awards distribution on Miscellaneous occassions


Transportation & Dispatch:

The plant took 95 long trailers for moving from site to buyer’s site.


Daneyal Hasan is the author of subject article & was the Project Engineer .He & Zeeshan Ahmed Aziz were the key assignees of this dismantling project. Daneyal has 3 years of experience whereas Zeeshan has 13 years of experience in Maintenance & Technical departments.


About Author

Engineering Horizons

Engineering Horizons

“Engineering Horizons” is the first & leading technical magazine of Pakistan covering Process, Mechanical, Metallurgical, Mining, Electrical & Electronics field under a single cover. We also feel pleasure in saying that this is the only magazine of its own kind & style, which is widely circulated in all Engineering Sectors of Pakistan.

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