EEPC 2018 Ethylene Seminar - Rixos Libertas - Croatia¬†- Wednesday 24  › Friday 26 October 2018

Seminar Programme

Day 1: Wednesday 24 October 2018
09:00 - 13:30 : Registration and lunch snacks
13:30 Welcome and Introduction EEPC Chairman, Paul Broekaart
Chair: Jos Vankevelaer, BASF
13:40 Introduction to EEPC Philip de Smedt, PetrochemEU
13:50 Keynote presentation on "refinery versus Petrochemical Integration" – global perspective George Gale, Naphtha Information Services
14:20 Keynote presentation on "refinery versus Petrochemical Integration" – focusing on Europe Marta Yugo, Concawe
14:50 Panel discussion Marta Yugo, Concawe
George Gale, Naphtha Information Services
Mary-Jane Hogg, Dow
Ralph Croes, Dow, LOSG Chair
Jens Utecht, BASF, LOSG Vice-Chair
Martin Harvey, Sabic (facilitator)
15:20 Coffee Break
15:50 High selectivity "runaway – resistant" 4th generation front-end acetylene hydrogenation catalyst in world scale unit Jon Lunn, Dow
Uwe Duerr, Clariant
16:20 The Value of Multiplexed TDLAS Monitoring and Diagnostic Technology in Fired Heaters and Furnaces Philippe Van Den Bussche, BASF
Eric Huelson, John Zink
16:45 Working Group 1: general introduction of activities
  • Live line cutting incidents & learnings

  • Floating Roof tank vapour release
Pascal Coenen, Shell

  • Jarren Peters, BASF & Gavin Kellagher, Ineos
  • Klaus Mattes, Lyondellbasell
17:45 Workshop 2019 – Safety Culture Pascal Coenen, Shell
18:00 Environmental issues: GHG emissions, emissions from decoking Philip de Smedt, Cefic
18:20 Closure
19:15 Cocktail reception at the hotel
Day 2: Thursday 25 October 2018
Chair: Paul Broekaart, Dow
08:30 Introduction to the break-out session Paul Broekaart, Dow
Jos Vankevelaer, BASF
08:45 Break-out sessions on "Training of New Staff".
  • What to do at trip and start-up after trip
  • Start-up after TA
  • Start-up after revamp
  • Sustainable results from trainings and knowledge management
  • Use of Operator Training Simulators to aid with training for start-up
See below for break-out sessions abstracts
  • Gunther Kracker, Linde
  • Martin Harvey, Sabic
  • Geert Vercruysse, BASF
  • Philip de Smedt, Petrochem Europe

  • Johan Adriaenssens, BASF
11:00 Coffee break
11:30 Condition based recoiling Stef Luijten, Dow
11:55 Digital 4.0 and implementation in industry Hans-Guenter Wagner, BASF
12:25 Use of digital twin technology to drive cracker furnaces improvements Sreekumar Maroor, PS Enterprise
Steve Hall, PS Enterprise
12:50 Lunch
Chair: Martin Harvey, Sabic
14:00 Turnaround Workshop feedback Jos Vankevelaer, BASF
14:20 Primary fractionator fundamentals and flexibility to feedstock André Bernard, Nova Chemicals
14:50 Olefin Plant cost down, Capex & Plant Performance well balanced Gunther Kracker, Linde
15:15 Thermal decomposition of sulfur compounds and their role in coke formation during steam cracking of hydrocarbons Kevin van Geem, UGent
15:45 Coffee Break
16:15 Working Group 2:
  • NG heater gasket failure
  • Cracked gas release from furnace decoke stack
  • Flare outage
  • Depropaniser fouling
Ferran Cortes, Dow
  • Christian Barreau, LyondellBasell
  • Jens Flore, BASF
  • Marianne Klaren, BP
  • Andreas Loschelder, Shell
17:15 Protection of brazed aluminium heat exchangers employed in ethylene plant cold boxes Peter Feld, Dow
Emmanuelle Biadi, Pall
17:45 Process safety for steam crackers Patrick van der Gulik, Shell
18:15 End of second day
18:50 Gathering in the hotel lobby
19:00 Departure for the visit of the city (45' walk) and dinner
22:30 End of dinner
Day 3: Friday 26 October 2018
Chair: Gunther Kracker, Linde
08:30 Issue Group Turbo Machinery Safety & Reliability
  • Feedback and introduction to next topic
  • Cracked gas compressor fouling
  • Steam turbine control and its safe operating window


  • Andrew Walker, Sabic
  • John van der Linden, Borealis
  • Mario Dominguez, Dow
09:30 Issue Group Reactive Chemicals Anne Spindelndreher, Linde
Steven Leen, Sabic
09:50 Issue Group Maintenance report
  • General update
  • The maintenance challenge of aged plants

  • Theo Knijff, Dow
  • Leo Koersvelt, Sabic
10:35 Coffee break
11:50 Issue Group Furnace Safety
  • Report
  • Furnace incident in MOL

  • Rob van der Linden, Sabic
  • Janos Kereszi, MOL
11:55 Feedback from breakout sessions
12:30 Conclusions EEPC Vice-Chair, Pascal Coenen
12:45 End of the conference, followed by lunch

EEPC Break-out sessions on "Training of Young Engineers"
Thursday 25 October 2018 at 08:45

What to do at trip and start-up after trip

facilitated by Gunther Kracker, Linde

The operating environment for European steam crackers has changed in the recent years. The increased degree of automation and the trimming of plants for maximized reliability have resulted in excellent availability of European steam crackers, with intervals between trips continuously extending.

In contrary to these positive aspects, the more seldom occurrence of trips is resulting in a decreasing level of experience with how to cope with these operational upsets. The general trend of decreasing operating staff and the retirement of experienced personnel further contribute to the fading of practical experience with trip situations and the re-establishment of normal operation after plant upsets.

The breakout session will focus on possibilities to train young and less experienced engineers/operators to handle plant upset conditions and to re-startup the plant after trip. Apart from the exchange of general experience with the topic, concrete training methods and training targets shall be shared and discussed from the perspective of plant operating companies. Different approaches shall be compared and best practices collected. To round up the complete picture, the possibilities and training concepts already available during the engineering phase of new or revamped plants shall be shared and discussed.

Start-up after TA

facilitated by Martin Harvey, Sabic

Moving an ethylene plant from the maintenance execution phase of a turnaround to stable, full rate operation is a complex transition. It requires the coordination of multi-functional resources and the diligent execution of many non-routine tasks if it is to be achieved efficiently and without EHS incident.

The chemical industry has a history of an increased major incident rate occurring at start-up in comparison to normal running with probably Texas City as the most widely recognized incident worldwide. The ethylene industry has its own examples where lessons have been learned. As our industry has matured, improved design standards and process designs have evolved to eliminate some risks. There has also been a general move to automate control and safety related actions to eliminate the unreliability of the human element. This has resulted in a drop of incident rates.

However, the average period between ethylene plant major turnarounds has increased (European average ~ 5 yr) and the experience operating staff have of plant start-ups has reduced over the last 2 decades. This emphasizes the need for robust management systems and effective training programs to ensure that known risks are controlled.

This break out session will share some historic incidents and then explore the issues to be considered when developing management systems and training programs.

Start-up after revamp

facilitated by Geert Vercruysse, BASF

Compared with a normal restart after trip or turn around, start up after revamp or implementation of major projects has its specific challenges. Operators not only have to deal with completely new or modified parts of the plant for which no operational experience is present. Also, the way existing parts of the plant have to be handled can be different as before due to interactions with new parts.

Furthermore, for revamp project managers, it may be a challenge to understand and to be fully aware of the operational impact of the project execution, (pre)commissioning and modified start-up procedures.

In the break out session, "start-up after revamp" discussion will cover topics such as :

  • Integrating "start-up" in the engineering phase of a project
  • Integration of (pre)commissioning and start up into planning of both project and turn around
  • Training and involvement of operators in preparation for restart after revamp.

Sustainable results from trainings and knowledge management

acilitated by Philip de Smedt, Petrochemicals Europe

In the coming years, several crackers in Europe will be faced with a lot of operators will retire. In this breakout session, we intend to discuss and share experience how we can avoid the loss of the experience and knowhow that has been built up over time in operating ethylene crackers. This will requires good management systems to ensure that knowhow is stored and transmitted in a way that the important information is not lost. Complicating factor in this transfer is the fact that periods between turnarounds has increased over the years so that some operations such as start-up and shutdown are becoming very infrequent operations and newly hired operators may not have had to chance to experience such operations before very experienced people have left the company.

Another topic that will be discussed is how to learn from incidents. Most companies have systems in place to record and analyze incidents but how do we ensure that relevant and important lessons learned are incorporated into company culture, especially those incidents where human error was a contributing factor.

Elements that can be discussed in this workshop are training programs, training simulators, knowledge databases, management systems, safety culture.

Use of Operator Training Simulators to aid with training for start-up

facilitated by Johan Adriaenssens, BASF

Due to technological progress (e.g. APC) and more reliable cracker operations, operators and engineers are losing hands-on experience on how to optimally start-up a cracker and how to respond properly to upsets.

In this breakout session, we want to discuss how to incorporate a state-of-the art simulator based training within our overall training-program by sharing experiences on topics such as :

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of an OTS for start-up training?
  • What type of simulator-trainings, -modules, -exercises are best practice to increase hands on-experience.
  • How do we organize (time-intensive) simulator training within our overall training-program and normal operations?
  • Start-up after revamp; when do we revamp our OTS?
  • Should an OTS also be able to simulate the manual actions that must take place in the field?
  • Besides training, are there other area’s in plant operations or maintenance, where an OTS can be useful?