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Air Separation Unit

Modular Construction and Detailed Design

Praxair is the largest industrial gases company in the Americas, and the largest carbon dioxide and helium supplier in the world. In a joint venture with Texaco, a re-powering project was commissioned for Praxair’s air separation facility in Delaware. The facility produces more than 2,500 tons of oxygen per day, and its extremely demanding schedule required innovative design and construction management methods to maintain optimum efficiency over the course of the project’s duration.

JNE provided the detailed design, early planning and modular construction necessary to meet the fast-track schedule. Modular designs were generated for three areas of the facility that substantially reduced the amount of fieldwork required and the associated cost. The modules were shipped in complete and incorporated all relevant components, including piping, insulation, valves, electrical systems, equipment, structural steel and tubing in each defined area. Interface drawings defined the connections to the rest of the plant.

JNE used 3-D Rebis/Autoplant software on an AutoCAD drawing platform to generate the designs. Caesar stress analysis software was used to incorporate the required flexibility into the piping network and to determine the resultant loading. Structural analysis of more than 80 structure and loading combinations were considered during the various life stages of the modules, including fabrication and assembly, shipping accelerations, lifting criteria, and final loading and environmental conditions.

The largest plant module was 33.5 x 4.6 x 4.7 meters (110 x 15 x 16 feet) and weighed more than 120 tons. The three modules were shipped by barge along the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Atlantic Ocean and then down the coast to Delaware City where they were installed.

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