Focus Area: Process Improvement
Statement of intent stating the reason for nominating the entry for LASSIB Society Excellence Awards:
The Business Excellence journey of Mumbai Refinery articulated through refinery vision calls for concerted effort by employees at all levels by adding value and rationalizing processes in their day to day activities. To achieve this, one of the processes started at refinery has been to undertake process improvements through Six Sigma philosophy, implementation of which started in the year 2008. Today, Mumbai Refinery has a unique distinction of having more than 320 certified Six Sigma practitioners who undertook 120 process improvement projects so far.
The objective of implementation of Six Sigma philosophy has been to achieve:
- Continue value addition to Mumbai Refinery’s human resources so as to support the business objective.
- Maximize productivity and improve work discipline and reduce waste.
- Improve standards of work and overall capability of employees.
Six Sigma projects undertaken focus on:
- Productivity improvement
- Energy conservation
- OHS performance improvement
- Customer satisfaction enhancement
This elite Six Sigma Group is motivated by a number of means like:
- Case study presentations by the teams
- Nominating them to participate in experience sharing with other industries
- Nominating them to participate in competition leading to excellence awards.
The process improvement project undertaken by the team on recovery of LPG from fuel gas has yielded huge saving for the organization to the tune Rs. 7.58 Crores per annum without having any additional investment and any major modifications in the unit. Therefore, the said project is nominated for this excellence award.
I) ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION
An erstwhile Burmah Shell Company, Bharat Petroleum came into the national mainstream in January 1976 following a takeover of Refining and Marketing operations by Government of India. Today, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, is one of India’s leading oil refining and marketing company
Mumbai Refinery of BPCL, spreading over a total area of approx. 454 acres, was commissioned in 1955 by Burmah-Shell Refineries Limited, with a design capacity to process 2.2 Million Metric Tonnes per Annum (MMTPA) of crude oil. After nationalization in 1976, Mumbai Refinery has progressively grown through low cost revamps and adoption of new technologies. Currently, the refinery has an installed capacity of 12.0 MMTPA, processing a variety of Imported and Indigenous crudes.
Mumbai Refinery is strategically located at Mumbai, the business capital of India. It is a well head refinery connected through pipeline to ONGC for supply of Mumbai High crude. It has also direct connectivity through pipeline to Marine Oil Terminal (MOT) facilitating import of crude, import/export of products and coastal movement through tankers. A dedicated 1379 km long pipeline, viz. Mumbai-Manmad-Manglia-Bijwasan pipeline, is used for movement of more than 50% petroleum products (Motor Spirit, High Speed Diesel, Superior Kerosene) from refinery to upcountry locations, thereby reducing road and rail movement. Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) is supplied through dedicated pipelines to Santacruz and Sahar Airports. Refinery also has pipeline connectivity to industry marketing installations at Sewree / Wadala and major direct customers.
From the time of nationalization to date, Mumbai Refinery has made rapid progress in its business activities and has emerged as a admired organization in the petroleum sector. Through all its growth and its development it was ably supported by its dedicated workforce.
II) RESULT INDICATORS
Description of the Process
Mumbai Refinery of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) produces a wide range of petroleum products viz., Fuel gas (like Natural gas), LPG, Petrol, Food Grade Hexane, Benzene & Toluene, kerosene, Diesel, Base Oil for Lubes, Furnace Oil & Bitumen. Among these, LPG is one of the most valuable products of the refinery. Fuel gas produced by the refinery has much lower cost compared to LPG and hence is burnt in the refinery furnaces as fuel. In refinery, LPG is produced mainly by Catalytic Cracker Units (CCU & FCCU).
Since LPG is a valuable product as mentioned above, this process improvement project is aimed at improving the LPG yield. It was observed that both in Catalytic Cracker units, there was huge amount of LPG loss due to high amount of LPG carryover with Fuel Gas. Therefore, it was decided to look at the possibility of recovering LPG from fuel gas as much as possible so as to increase refinery profitability. The project was taken as a Six Sigma Black Belt project.
Description of the Problem
There was very high amount of LPG carryover with Fuel Gas in Catalytic Cracking Unit (24.8 %wt, 12.13 % Vol) as per data from 5th September 2008 till 22nd October 2012 and Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit (33.17 % wt, 21.58 % Vol) as per data from 20th January 2010 till 7th September 2012 resulting in loss of LPG production. The Team was required to study the causes and reduce the carryover of LPG with Fuel Gas and to suggest the remedies to increase refinery profit.
HSB Solomon Associates LLC (Solomon) provides support in benchmarking, data analysis and performance improvement consulting services for capital-intensive energy assets in key industries like refinery, chemicals, pipelines, terminals, power generations etc. They provide most creative and effective strategies to maximize client performance. They also help client to achieve greater effectiveness, enhance reliability and improve margins by realizing the full technical and financial potential of their existing assets and new capital projects.
BPCL shared refinery data with Solomon for our benchmarking with respect to other refineries in the world and further scope for improvement.
As per Solomon Study (based on operating data of 2010), BPCL MR has LPG carryover with fuel gas ~27% vol (in terms of %wt, it is 1.5 to 2 times of %vol)
Based on feedback from Solomon, it was targeted to decrease LPG carryover with fuel gas to less than 10% wt.The benchmark figure is of 13 % wt.
Comparison with Benchmark
The above graphs indicate that there is a decrease in LPG carryover at CCU from 25.6% by weight to 10.75% by weight vis-à-vis benchmark value of 13% by weight
The above graphs indicate that there is a decrease in LPG carryover at FCCU from 37.2% by weight to 17% by weight vis-à-vis benchmark value of 13% by weight.
There is also a decrease in variation of LPG carryover at FCCU from 10.722% by weight to 0.816% by weight.
1. Leadership Commitment and Involvement
Business Excellence has strong focus in Mumbai Refinery and is driven under the leadership of the Head of the Refinery. The refinery head is the Steering Committee Chairman for Six Sigma Initiative. The refinery Head, along with the Head of Departments, reviews the projects for its successful completion. Considering the huge success of Six Sigma which was implemented as a pilot Business Excellence initiative in 2008, this process improvements philosophy is getting institutionalized in refinery by taking this initiative as a part of the business plan. The effort receives renewed focus with inclusion of the same as a part of the MOU target signed with the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. 25 Six Sigma projects are taken as target every year.
Right from selection of projects to ensuring sustenance of the improvements, the leadership at BPCL MR plays vital role in driving Business Excellence through Six Sigma projects.
Many of the Six Sigma projects are identified based on the Opportunities For Improvement (OFI) emanating out of various benchmark studies undertaken by renowned agencies, both at national and international level. This nominated project was one of the OFIs of Solomon Benchmarking study. The leadership whole heartedly supported and encouraged the Six Sigma team.
2. Strategy Creation and Deployment
Business Excellence initiatives are a strategic objective for Mumbai Refinery. In this regard, refinery has adopted a multiple approach by undertaking a combination of business excellence initiatives like adoption of Management Systems, Benchmarking, Business Excellence Model assessments (CII, RBNQA, FICCI), Quality Circles, 5S, Six Sigma. The focus is on process approach, customer focus, employee involvement, loss reduction, improved GRM (Gross Refinery Margin), enhanced OHS performance.
The approach is systematically deployed through institutionalizing the above initiatives which gets closely monitored and guided by the leadership of the refinery.
3. Human Resource Management
One of the visions of Mumbai Refinery is to make refinery “Greatest place to work” by providing continuous learning opportunities thereby improving performance in a participatory environment.
The business excellence initiatives help refinery in achieving this vision. Six Sigma projects provide ample opportunities for technicians and shop floor employees since majority of the projects undertaken require their involvement and support.
For this project, technicians working in three shifts rotations in both FCCU and CCU units were involved in discussions, brain storming sessions and arriving at root causes to find out the critical parameters affecting the pain area. Eventually during implementation same workforce contributed as a part of Process governance which ensured the proper KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are being measured and reported to sustain improvement. The success has been a big motivation to the work force and there is eagerness to bring in further improvements.
4. Process Management
The following changes were carried out in the process after discussion with the plant managers. The recommended and actual changes as well as incremental savings are tabulated as below.
|PARAMETERS||DESIGN||RECOMMENDED||PRE RESULTS||POST RESULTS|
|Absorber P (kg per sq cm g)||14.5||15.2||14.7||15.1|
|Lean oil flow (MT/D)||500||500||375.0||470|
|Lean Oil temp (deg C)||40||<40||42.1||45.5|
|Sponge oil flow (MT/D)||216||216||144.0||139|
|Sponge oil temp (deg C)||40||<40||35.5||37|
|C3+ carry over (% wt)||24.8||10.7|
|PARAMETERS||DESIGN||RECOMMENDED||PRE RESULTS||POST RESULTS|
|Lean oil flow||167||167||80.5||138.2|
|Lean Oil temp||38||<38||37.6||37.8|
|Sponge oil flow||177||177||89.6||147.9|
|Sponge oil temp||38||<38||36.5||37.3|
|Amine flow to LPG amine absorber||68||68||31||55.7|
|Lean Amine temp||38||<38||39.1||38.6|
|LPG absorber pressure||12.8||12.8||12.1||12.6|
|Wash water to 30E1A/B||100||150||100||150|
|C3+ carry over (% wt)||33.17||17|
|LPG Savings||16.6 MT/ Day|
|Actual cost benefit as per post results Yearly||Rs 7.6 Cr|
5. Technology Management
No Technology change was involved in this project. However, the control of the process parameters was automated by appropriate changes in Advanced Process Control (APC).
APC is a multi-variable control system which helps to control multiple variables at the same time, thus maintaining product quality as well as maximization of production on continuous basis.
6. Knowledge Management
Literature survey was done thoroughly at the beginning of the project to collect all the related information to reduce LPG loss with Fuel Gas. This matter was discussed with the end users and their section heads for better understanding of the problem.
Dissemination of results to shop floor employees regarding the process changes and the improvement in recovery of LPG reduction of number of nonconformities was done. The details were also communicated to others involved in refinery operations like process, technology, maintenance and commercial departments.
To enable and sustain this, all the process technicians were trained on the change required to bring an improvement in the process with the help of Advanced Process Control (APC).
The complete project presentation, along with all the data, was made available in refinery web portal under Six Sigma club.