Powerhouse Electrical Upgrade – Preliminary Engineering

  • Agriculture / Food & Beverage
  • DCS
  • Planning & Feasibility Studies
  • Lifecycle/Common
  • FEED
  • DCS
  • Planning & Feasibility Studies
  • Lifecycle/Common
  • FEED

The Challenge

The client's electrical distribution system was more than 60 years old and did not meet present-day safety and reliability standards. A complete system upgrade was required from the BC Hydro primary service to and including the 2.4 kV switchgear. The most critical part of the overall system upgrade was the replacement of the existing 2.4 kV switchgear; as spare parts were no longer available, if this equipment failed, the plant would shut down for an indefinite amount of time. The client engaged Autopro to perform preliminary engineering activities for the upgrade.

Autopro’s Role

Autopro provided the preliminary engineering report for upgrading the existing power house electrical system in the client’s Vancouver refinery. To minimize plant disruptions during construction, Autopro developed a proposed sequence of construction report that indicated what plant disruptions could be expected and for how long. The report recommended replacing the existing switchgear with new 5 kV rated arc flash resistant switchgear in the powerhouse and increasing the available incoming utility power with a new 3.75 MVA dual-voltage transformer.

The electrical system upgrade was divided into three distinct projects to allow the client to plan and schedule activities during construction to minimize plant disruptions:

  1. Replace the existing switchgear
  2. Replace the existing power transformer
  3. Upgrade the BC Hydro service equipment

Project Success Criteria

Autopro provided a plan that:

  • Suggested a phased approach to minimize potential disruptions to the client’s plant
  • Presented low risk to operations
  • Recommended lower-cost alternatives that still met the client’s needs
  • Included current technology   
  • Ensured spare parts availability

Project Metrics

Project Completion Date