Modular Construction 101
Chemex is a leading global source for modular refineries, gas processing plants and measurement systems. At Chemex, we match clients’ project needs with manufactured modular equipment and engineering design services. When compared to conventionally built refineries, modular systems entail advantages, including lower cost, shortened time schedules and flexible operations in remote geographic areas. By performing most or all of the fabrication and assembly at a Chemex manufacturing facility, equipment is manufactured in a controlled working environment allows that Chemex to produce the highest quality as efficiently as possible."Large scale, full-service power plants are difficult to maintain and often function at the level of small-scale modular plants."
"A modular refiniery is relatively easier to fabricate and erect and when an area becomes unsuitable for business, (and) it can be disassembled and reassembled in a more suitable environment."
"Environmental pollution and regulation can best be controlled with small scale plants in (economies) that may not have the industrial ethics to manage the huge amount of pollution prevalent with large-scale refining."
Modularization avoids inclement weather delays at the site and reduces cost since higher cost site work is replaced by lower cost shop work. It reduces the need to maintain a skilled construction crew on or near the project site. Fabricating modular processing units away from the facility site may also reduce construction impact at the site. Lay-down space, an important consideration when the site is small or congested, is minimized.
In addition, aerial work is minimized and foundation requirements are often simplified. Pre-fitting components onto a module permits tighter quality control prior to shipment to a client’s location, leading to less re-work on-site. Costs are reduced further when the installation site is located where raw materials and equipment are expensive or difficult to obtain. Removing the need for highly skilled labor on site may yield additional advantage in areas where skilled labor is either costly or unavailable. Chemex design and construction leads to a better business case with lower cost and predictable results.
In a column on The Guardian by Ikenna Ifedobi of Exxon, the benefits of modular refining in emerging economies are outlined: