About 10 years ago in Europe, a new regulation came into force, EN 746-2 “Safety Requirements for Combustion and Fuel Handling Systems”, which effectively mandated the use of Burner Management Systems (BMS) for fired heaters, including olefins cracking furnaces. The regulation required immediate compliance for new furnaces. The standard was not written with multiple burner cracking furnaces in mind. The EEPC Issue Group was called to help find ways of interpreting/understanding the requirements. The implementation solutions, both for old furnace upgrades and new furnaces were a kind of compromise between requirements from local regulative authorities and company insurance brokers and solution options developed by engineering contractors and plant technology specialists, resulting in quite a wide range of solutions and compliance level.
Borealis and its affiliates have olefins cracking furnaces that cover the full range of technologies/types from late 60s up to State of Art new furnaces. All of these, including new ethylene units, have gone through all the difficulties of finding feasible compliance levels, solving operating problems, struggling with access problems resulting from additional automation equipment and new FG headers etc. for both 100% floor fired and 100% side wall fired furnaces. In all revamp/upgrade cases the investment cost had to be weighed against new furnace option. Although the new requirements and chosen solutions were often seen as burden, on top of a step improvement in safety, they gave the operator the welcome opportunity to modernize old furnaces, improve the availability, reduce field operations and an opportunity for company-wide standardization etc.
The paper is summary of experience and lessons learned from the Borealis way to meet the EN 746-2 standard requirements in Europe and to be a safety pace-setter in the Middle East by implementing standard there as well.
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