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Precommissioning Piping Cleaning

blowing steaming cleaning piping flushing

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#1 shvet1


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Posted 04 November 2017 - 09:09 AM

Hi, forum

We are a small Contractor that is responsible for detailed design of an usual petroleum facility in a refinery (nothing special). 
We faced with situation when Client asked to add precommissioning cleaning procedure for piping and simple equipment (pumps, separators, coalescers, heat exchangers) in project. His question mostly concerns piping. As we know precommissioning cleaning can turn out to be a complex and expensive procedure and one shall be a professional to provide it in effective, fast and cheap way. Client understood this but it insists upon a short mark shall be made in pipe list against each pipe section: 
- flushing with water
- steaming
- blowing (with wet air / dry air / inert gas / process gas (for example CH4))
- chemical cleaning (including formulation)
- pigging
- high pressure water / sand blasting 
Including min velocity / flowrate for each case and required fluid contaminations rate.

Client intends using this short mark as a reference point for building and commissioning Contractors. Client's demands are reasonable because of codes of country where facility is placed. According to local codes precommissioning piping test, cleaning and passivation procedures shall be clearly specified in project is made by a design Contractor.

My question is concerned precommissioning (post-weld) cleaning procedure. I have been searching my private technical library and google (including this forum search engine). I have found some better or worse requirements how cleaning should be made. Moreover in office we have ~5 workers which have some experience with process facility piping cleaning including precommisioning stage. We can interconnect into some collective engineering mind and "give birth" more or less good cleaning procedure, but we understood that Client would not be satisfied with this document because of money.

Client is in a difficult economic situation and cutting down expenses is a major stream it their minds. Client's technical managers suppose that our short marks provide cleaning quality alone. Client's technical managers are interested to do cleaning as fast and simple as possible, building/precommissioning Contractor is interested to do cleaning as cheap as possible. We are detailed design Contractor and we are interested in spotless reference list and we would like to have a trouble-free start up and test run of facility. And we have no illusions that responsibility for unfortunate start-up will be imposed on us. Please stop and don't write an angry post about bad management and consequences. Everyone knows everything, Client has experienced and skilled personnel. Main thing is a person's ultimate responsibility but not a result (cash flow).

As you can see we have a conflict of interests so our experience and engineering practices will be useless. So we need some higher authority and some weighty international standards and practices would be helpful. For example, ASME, API, ISO, NACE, EIGA, GPSA, ANSI etc. But unfortunately as I have found a few dedicated standards:
- ASTM D4174
- ASTM A380
- ASTM A967
Not so many and not so thick as you can see.

So my questions are:
Q1: Can you suggest any other worth international or local standards for precommissioning?
Q2: Can you suggest any worth local/internal requirements / guides / manuals / procedures / algorithms?
Q3: Can you share with your experience / practice concerned precommissioning?
Q4: I could not find any standard for boilers and steam/condensate piping cleaning. There is sure to exist some guides from ASME etc. Have you encountered any?
Q5: I could not find any standard for technical gases piping cleaning (CO2, O2, N2, NG, air). There is sure to exist some guides from EIGA etc. Have you encountered any?

Edited by shvet1, 05 November 2017 - 03:03 AM.

#2 Zauberberg


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Posted 05 November 2017 - 04:59 AM

I think you should sit together with the client and agree on targets (purpose) of cleaning, then select appropriate methods depending on available options and limitations. Almost always there is something specific for each site.


Attached Files

#3 Pan Nata

Pan Nata

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 09:18 PM



Most of your question is very general, I just can share for your question no.4.


For cleaning of steam piping or pipeline (steam blowing) what I faced before, my client refers to VGB Guideline (Company which is specialized for power plant) for all their plants. Document number is VGB-R513e, I think it is not available for free. As I remember, only two criteria for the steam piping cleaning (steam blow) which are disturbance factor and target plate cleanliness.


Good luck.

#4 Zauberberg


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Posted 18 November 2017 - 04:01 PM

Check also the attached file (this website has issues with posting links)

Attached Files

Edited by Zauberberg, 18 November 2017 - 04:05 PM.

#5 shvet1


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Posted 23 November 2017 - 11:26 PM

Thank you Zauberberg for useful links. Note that 3d link is for AGA members only. These links concerns purging and not for precommissioning cleaning.

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