However, after several years operating efficiently with these minor improvements, Xcel Energy realized further — and more extensive — work would be needed to keep Wescott operating efficiently into the foreseeable future.
Therefore, Burns & McDonnell was employed to conduct an operational study on the macro level to help determine if further modifications could provide long-term benefits or if completely changing out the system with a new technology would be the right approach.
While the study is ongoing, we are partnering with Xcel Energy’s staff to execute additional improvements to keep the plant active, as required by regulations. This scope includes design of a successive replacement approach for three brazed aluminum heat exchangers, allowing Wescott to stay online and continue creating and storing LNG. During this phase, we are providing services for piping, instrumentation and controls, and structural design, as well as overseeing the manufacture of replacement equipment. Construction began in early 2020.
We are also project managing and providing technical oversight for Wescott’s boil-off gas compressor project. This parallel scope includes automating the plant’s current manual interface of on-site valves associated with its liquefier. Once the automation is complete, the control room operator will have the capability to monitor and manage this essential valve process with complete transparency — significantly increasing efficiency and safety.
Through our comprehensive services of all aspects of the Wescott LNG Facility’s upgrades — owner’s engineer, owner’s representative, project manager and engineer of record — we are helping to organize and manage the expansive aspects of the project, including integrated project schedules, critical path assessments and supplier coordination. The modifications are expected to be complete in 2020, successfully delivering full operation by the beginning of liquefaction season to save ratepayers money and remain in compliance. Meeting this deadline will also allow Xcel Energy to dedicate its resources to determining if a full system overhaul is indeed necessary to keep Wescott operational, long term.