SPIE and Sitech collaborate on project to modernize the electrical equipment at Chemelot’s IAZI

Sitech is responsible for wastewater treatment on the Chemelot site and has asked SPIE to modernize the electrical equipment at the IAZI. This is a job of great scope and importance for safeguarding Chemelot’s wastewater treatment, now and in the future.

Renovation and improvement demands constant attention
When the plant turned 40 in 2019, it became clear that it still offers the best solution in terms of water treatment for the site, although the renovation and improvement of its parts demands constant attention. The modernization of the IAZI’s electrical equipment was divided into three projects: the ‘400 Volt project’, the ‘690 Volt project’ and the ‘10 kV project’. In 2019, Sitech started the 400 Volt project together with SPIE. This project required that the electrical facilities that had been on the site since the 1970s be modernized. These facilities become less reliable over time and maintenance becomes more and more expensive. Various switch rooms, electrical distribution boards and installations are brought up to date with the latest technological innovations. An important aspect of this project was that all of the installations had to keep running. It took almost a year to renew all of the underground cabling on this route.

The 10 kV project has just been completed. SPIE has been working on this site for almost two years now. The 10 kV project once again involved the modernization of precise equipment, with a particular focus on operational reliability, safety and continuity. The 10 kV distribution board is the heart of the voltage supply at the IAZI. The transformers connected to it supply the necessary 690 V and 400 V voltages. The distribution board has now been replaced by a new installation, which will guarantee continuity in business operations.

Three large purification basins. From the factories, the wastewater reaches the IAZI. This installation cleans the water via various processes, after which it is discharged into a tributary of the Maas, the Ur. Aerial photo by MCM productions Geleen

To realize this project, a tight schedule was required to guarantee the availability of the installation. One challenge posed by this overhaul was that the entire IAZI was temporarily operated without redundancy. We look back with satisfaction at a ‘first time right’: the moment the switch was flipped, everything turned out to work perfectly – a great result after two years of hard work.

And it’s not just the 10 kV distribution board – the entire switch room has also been overhauled. This involved a new emergency power supply, but also the replacement of doors, HVAC systems and lighting, and the coating of the floors.

“A successful collaboration between SPIE & Sitech”

John Lemmens, project manager at Sitech, explains: “I have been familiar with SPIE for a long time and from several projects. They’re simply a good and reliable party. Sitech is not looking for suppliers, but for partners. For the IAZI, we were looking for a single-source project based on trust. That is why we chose SPIE.”
William Hollanders, project manager at SPIE, is also enthusiastic: “When working on projects of this size together, it needs to feel like a well-oiled machine. Working together on the same project on the same site for more than two years means that you share the same goals and interests.”

William Hollanders looks back on the process with satisfaction: “The project has been quite unique. Everything was very tightly scheduled, so we knew it would be a challenge in terms of time. By keeping well on top of things, we’ve managed to meet the schedule. Everything was so well planned and the right people were in the right place. “When it comes to working with Sitech, he has a clear message: “It’s become a kind of partnership – everyone knows what to expect from each other. As a project manager, I appreciate clear communication, over short lines. The best thing about the project was that everyone kept their promises, we were all striving toward the same goal and everyone went for it. It’s really a great collaboration. When you’ve been working together for so long, you really appreciate each other.”

“We chieved a ‘first time right’ after delivery: we pushed the button and everything worked right away.”

Hans Geijselaers, Manager BU Water management at Sitech, also saw the importance of a single-source collaboration: “It’s extremely important to work with a party that understands the importance of the IAZI. If something in this installation is not working properly, all of Chemelot will come to a standstill. We needed to work with a party that understood the seriousness of the situation, but could also deal with risks. With SPIE we made a good choice, and achieved a ‘first time right’ after delivery: we pushed the button and everything worked right away. This means that there are not many remaining points to deal with in this project, simply because it has been delivered well.”

John Lemmens, project manager at Sitech, agrees. “We will continue this partnership. We still have a number of flow transmitters that need to be replaced; we also need to make some improvements there. We try to create a fixed workload with SPIE so that we can always work with a reliable and familiar team. It is important to work with parties who know each other’s working methods, but also the contact persons. Then you’ll see that your projects will be ‘first time right’, and successful in terms of throughput time and efficiency.”

Robbert Dacier, installation manager of the IAZI, is extremely pleased with the partnership: “Projects of this magnitude require insight and trust from all those involved. William’s team repeatedly demonstrated this – deviations were detected and discussed at an early stage. Because of the high quality of the work carried out, we now have an installation that will hopefully last for 45 years.”

A large number of Turn Around projects are planned for the coming years, in which several parts of the IAZI installation will be modernized. Sitech and SPIE also intend to join forces for these projects.

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