New Member Spotlight, Fluor

By MTI Admin posted 09-29-2021 02:04 PM

Originally published April 2021 in MTI CONNECT Magazine - Download Issue 1

Fluor is the latest addition to MTI after joining as a supplier member in the first quarter of 2021. The company was founded in 1912 and made its start in construction for a gas company. Throughout its more than 100-year history, Fluor has expanded into multiple industries, including chemicals and petrochemicals in the 1940s, as well as mining, petroleum refining, life sciences and several others, according to the company website. They offer services around the globe in engineering, procurement and construction for
building refineries, chemical plants, infrastructure, offshore platforms and other projects.

Cathleen Shargay, MTI Designated Representative for Fluor, says they are eager to participate in MTI and plan to contribute to the vast technical knowledge of the organization.
“Although we are not a plant owner, fabricator or material supplier, we are both heavily involved with the new fabrication and construction phases of plants and reviewing the operating experience of many units when we are doing revamps or rebuilds after fires or other failures,” Shargay explains. “These are sources of data and experiences, which we can bring to MTI (when permitted by the owners). We hope to have our Materials and Welding experts from various locations around the world help contribute and participate in MTI and share the information within our Fluor community. Also, we work with almost all the MTI members as either our clients or suppliers, hence we are looking forward to this
opportunity to network and work together to advance the industry knowledge.”
Fluor provided preliminary services, front-end engineering and design, engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) for Shell’s Carbon Capture and Storage (CSS) Quest project in Canada.
Photo courtesy of Fluor.
Shargay has a history of participation and leadership roles in joint industry partnerships and is looking forward to the benefits Fluor will gain from the collaborative environment
of MTI. As an example of the joint industry work she’s been involved in while at Fluor, Shargay provides a case from 2008, which may be a bit dated, but it had a large impact on the industry. It involved critical, high pressure, high cost hydroprocessing reactors, where suddenly, fabrication on more than 30 2¼ Cr-1 Mo-V reactors at multiple fabricators came to an abrupt stop as the SAW welds started developing extensive amounts of microcracking.

“The cracking was in longitudinal, circumferential and nozzle welds, and always occurred after a heat treatment cycle such as PWHT or ISR. It was quickly identified as reheat cracking, but the root cause and solution eluded the industry for about seven months,” she describes. “It took a major team effort between the fabricators, steel suppliers, weld metal suppliers, owners and engineering contractors to pool information and solve this problem. My role was that as the chair of API 934-A committee, which became the central forum for sharing of this data and information. Testing by ArcelorMittal was the key breakthrough, which showed that the main cause was >1.5 ppm levels of lead and bismuth contamination in the welding flux. But our API 934-A work continued as we quickly issued an appendix on an inspection method and criteria for detecting and rejecting this cracking, and started a Joint Industry Sponsored Research project to develop a weld metal screening test to prescreen each batch of weld metal for reheat cracking susceptibility (from any type of contaminant). I also chaired the JIP sponsor group for developing this screening test, which finished the work within one year, and published the results as a second appendix to API 934-A. These documents are in wide use today and have prevented further cracking problems.”

Fluor initially expressed interest in membership because of MTI potential project 357 – Corrosion in Bio-oils, which is currently targeted to better understand the corrosion associated with processing bio-oil feedstocks.

“MTI is well-positioned to become the central resource on biofuels processing plants materials and corrosion knowledge,” Shargay points out. “Fluor is currently designing and
fabricating numerous biofuels units, which are revamps of refinery units so far. We would like to have an expertise in this topic to be able to best serve our clients.”

She also discusses other MTI projects that could provide cost-saving ideas for company projects from materials or fabrication innovations and reliability improvements in their
plant designs. Topics of interest include stress relaxation cracking mitigation, duplex SS fabrication (including ferrite testing), modifying CS standards to avoid low toughness
issues, developing guidelines for thermal mix points and other topics. In addition, Shargay notes they are looking forward to accessing the e-Library to make use of the existing 40-plus years of MTI technical literature.

Although Fluor has only just begun exploring the MTI resources and benefits of membership, they jumped right in by attending the February virtual GlobalTAC meeting and providing an industrial technology demonstration during one of the sessions. Shargay also plans to make sure Fluor is contributing and involved in project idea development,
and she is personally looking forward to networking opportunities and attending MTI meetings.

Welcome, Fluor! MTI is delighted to have your participation and contribution of technical knowledge.