Having somewhere to send sulphur – a byproduct of the fuel-making process – is essential to Refining NZ’s operation. Without the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd, fertiliser works accepting sulphur 24 hours a day; the refinery could no longer keep processing crude oils seven days a week.
But with an ageing sulphur processing plant that required maintenance to keep operating, the plant’s owners decided they wanted to close it down. Refining NZ needed the plant to extend service until they could build their own processing plant around 18 months later.
To properly understand the risk of the plant failing in the short term, which would create a serious problem for the refinery, Refining NZ engaged GRIT to carry out an engineering condition and risk assessment on the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd fertiliser works.
We carried out a site inspection of the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd fertiliser works. As a result, we produced a detailed engineering risk report, which identified several opportunities to reduce risk by carrying out maintenance and small rectification and rehabilitation projects.
By engaging GRIT, Refining NZ understood the operational risk and good guidance on practical and economical options to reduce the risks around reliability and HSE. As a result, refining NZ was able to work with Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd around managing risk and was also able to prioritise spending, accelerate the development of their own sulphur processing plant, and justify this to the company’s Board of Directors.