WOLFF GROUP™ performed turn-key reconstruction of a dust extraction system destroyed as a result of major industrial disaster. The works for the Turów Power Plant (PGE Group) were carried out under the close supervision of video cameras. The resulting material was used in the production of a behind the scenes video.
On 24 July 2012, major industrial disaster took place in the Turów Power Plant. As a result the systems located in the area of two power units were destroyed. The authorities of one of the largest Polish thermal power stations immediately decided to reconstruct the destroyed systems. As it turned out later, the reconstruction of the dust extraction system was contracted to WOLFF GROUP™.
A few months after the commissioning of the reconstructed system, Powder and Bulk published an interview with Damian Demarczyk – the coordinator of the project for WOLFF GROUP™. The interview explains, among other things, why WOLFF GROUP™ decided to complete such a difficult task and what was they found most challenging during the works.
From the very beginning it was clear that the completion of the project within only 3.5 months would be extremely difficult. Why, despite this fact, WOLFF GROUP™ decided to undertake it?
I can very well remember the day on which the decision was made to take up the performance of the task comprising the reconstruction of the destroyed dust extraction system at the Turów Power Plant. We considered all arguments „for” and „against” very carefully. Each of the engineers in the group working on the project was aware of the prestige of the task but also of the scale of problems to be solved within a very short time. However, the cool calculation showed that subject to very good organisation of labour the project would be completed on time and all provisions of the contract would be fulfilled. The fact that the engineers of WOLFF Group™ designed the Dedicated Explosion Safety System – DESS was of key significance in making the decision. DESS is a comprehensive concept of protecting production plants against explosion. In short, the task of the concept was to identify and assess the level of explosion hazard, reduce the risk of explosion and implement necessary explosion protection safety solutions.
What were the major difficulties you had to overcome during the performance of this project?
After the award of the contract all major divisions of WOLFF GROUP™: design, production, explosion safety and assembly, took action. At the first stage of the works the biggest challenge was adequate design of the filtration unit to be split into several elements of specific weight.
Such a state of affairs was driven by the fact that the system was supposed to be erected on the roof of a 50-metre-tall building with access limited by dense building development and high voltage lines. The elements of the system in such difficult conditions could be founded only by means of a helicopter or a huge crane with a lifting capacity of 400 tonnes. With regard to the proximity of cooling towers and steam produced by the same which could reduce the visibility for the helicopter pilot, our choice was the crane. Despite it was one of the largest cranes available, its lifting capacity was not sufficient to transport the heavy filtration unit to the roof. Thus, we had to split the system into a number of smaller elements the weights of which were strictly defined and could not be exceeded.
Were the Owners requirements regarding explosion safety also a challenge?
WOLFF GROUP™ has been dealing with similar tasks for nearly 20 years. Therefore, the owners requirements regarding explosion safety, although high, were not intrinsically a problem. In the specific case the difficulty was to reconcile the high requirements of the owner with an extremely short time allocated to performance. Perhaps both conditions could not have been fulfilled but for the Dedicated Explosion Safety System designed by engineers from WOLFF GROUP™. Thanks to DESS, already at the design stage it was possible to identify potential hazards related to treatment of inflammable and explosive dust, present methods for eliminating or reducing the amount of such dust and develop and implement the concept of protecting the plant using an explosion safety system. As a result, the works were performed in compliance with the assumptions of the contract, both in terms of engineering and time.
Many contractors subcontract part of the works, thus limiting their own role to a coordinator of works on the construction site. Is it similar with WOLFF GROUP™?
I would not call WOLFF GROUP™ a contractor, mainly due to the fact that we have a totally different philosophy. We want to be a technology provider who on one hand has the required know-how, and on the other hand it has sufficient own resources to carry out the project. By the term resources I mean our own design office, manufacturing plant, specialised explosion safety department, and units in charge of assembly, disassembly, relocation and repairs of industrial plants. Such an approach enables us to reduce an excessive number of subcontractors thus contributing to a cut-down on costs with simultaneous improvement in project performance quality.
In what direction will WOLFF GROUP™ develop?
We would like WOLFF GROUP™ to be a support centre for many branches of industry. We want industrial plant contact us requesting to solve technical problems that need expertise and experience in explosion and process safety, production and conveying of bulk materials, erection of turnkey process installations and assembly, disassembly, relocation and repairs of process installations.
On behalf of WOLFF GROUP™ I wish to extend our thanks to the owner for trust and confidence and exemplary cooperation during the performance of the task.