Engineering News-Record Magazine, March 12, 2012

Optimal Crane Utilization Drives Safety/Efficiency on Refinery Modernization’s 

BP’s Whiting Refinery Modernization (WRM) project in Whiting, Indiana, is one of the country’s premier modernization projects, located in the second-largest BP refinery. It is also indicative of the oil and gas industry’s growing need to upgrade process equipment to meet demand to refine heavy Canadian crude.

Bill Tierney, vice president and chief operating officer for Imperial Crane Services, says, “These modernization projects require a large number of high capacity cranes that are able to work in a confined space throughout the entire process, often several years.”

Imperial purchased over 50 new pieces of equipment, ranging from 15-ton capacity, small mobile cranes to 600-ton high capacity cranes with luffing jibs, for the Whiting project, and currently has over 90 pieces of equipment consistently working on site.

“Yet, crane capabilities are just a small part of these type jobs,” says Tierney. “The management of multiple machines on a long-term, complex project is critical for safety and project efficiency. A crane rental service that combines the necessary range of cranes with skilled operators and insight into the most efficient, safest crane utilization for a job, can deliver huge cost savings to the owner.”

Thanks to a proactive safety curriculum that includes daily jobsite inspections by operators and frequent detailed maintenance inspections, Imperial Crane Services reached 2 million hours without a lost time accident and now holds a .61 experience modification rate (EMR).