Modularisation – The Way Forward…SMART Solution by Thermax Bacbcock & Wilcox Energy Solutions Pvt. Ltd. India (TBWES)

Creating a Culture of Innovation

Keeping pace with the ever-evolving market demands and leveraging technology for enhancing customer experience, Thermax’s modularisation is the way forward. Modularisation aims to reduce the number of interfaces, the total installation cost & overall time schedule of the project, while optimising the ROI & allowing standardisation for future projects. Modularisation focuses on package level rather than individual equipment.

Thermax got an opportunity to supply an entire steam package for large refinery in Africa. Considering the advantages of time and cost, limited skilled manpower at site and optimising operational cost, the concept of modularisation got emerged and finalised.



The entire idea of modularisation was converted into size and weights in order to check on manufacturability, in-land transportability, mode of movement into the vessel, unloading from the vessel, movement from port to site and finally, installation of the same without using the crane. A core team was designated as the task force for this execution.

The boilers and heater were designed to meet ASME Section -I and API 560. The significant amount of engineering work was carried out by using software like Tekla, CFD, FEA, HTRI, 3D Model and animation. Various structural, simulation analysis considering inland transportation & rolling pitching of vessel for sea freight resulted in producing more than 4500 documents, taking approvals from PMC and end user in line with documents approval procedure. Considering the huge work quantum and to ensure round the clock working at our manufacturing and installation facilities, the latest NDT techniques such as TOFD/PAUT/Online RT/close Proximity radiography (CPR) were successfully deployed with qualification procedures prior to implementation.

In order to assemble 26 colossus modules, to be loaded into the ship within a span of 5 months, multiple units as per customer’s optimized vessel scheme and schedule, we had to divide them into two assembly yards depending on the constraints / requirements of civil platforms and height and weight restrictions. The total of 1400 man power of different skills supervised by 145 qualified engineers for a period of 14 months right from the assembly to loading onto the vessels was complicated and formidable task.

‘Right first time’ approach resulted in least number of punch list points, no interface mismatches which helped in achieving hassle free installation at site. The whole job is executed under very strict and vigilant safety practices which has created a benchmark of highest safe construction man-hours.

Thermax ensured flawless tagging, packing and shipment management system, due to which identification; traceability and tracking of loose components was done at highly efficient manner and resulted into easy allocation of material to the assembly contractors. Considering the long duration from shipment to commissioning, in order to prevent the pressure parts from pitting/corrosion, utmost care was taken by way of filling nitrogen inside the pressure parts and used extensively silica gel bags inside pressure parts and furnace.

Logistics was identified as the most important area of concern considering the huge sizes and weights as mentioned above. Right from concept, the modules were designed for Roll on Roll off (RO-RO) shipment where in the design was carried out for wind, rolling-pitching loads. The second biggest task was to move the modules from ground to floating vessel in the sea. A special multimodal transport like Self Propelled Modular Trailer (SPMT) with multiple sets were used for the module movement from assembly yard to port jetty and to vessel. Thermax took the responsibility of sea fastening, such as soft & hard lashing of modules on the deck of the vessel in order to secure the them from strong winds & harsh weather conditions.

All these efforts were converted into the success story, when entire 400,000 cubic meter material was unloaded and installed at site without any damage within shortest period. We take pride in sharing that PMC congratulated Thermax for installing 5 units of HRSG modules in just 21 hours. We also got the credit of becoming first to carry out successful pressure test at site and the others followed procedure and practice set by Thermax.

The integration of 4 units of UB & 8 units of HRSG package was done to deliver same temperature and pressure steam delivered to common header and further distributed to turbine, process steam and hot water applications.

The customer and end user shared his rich experience of working with Thermax as associate partner for their various project executed across African countries.

Modular construction helped in reducing this project cycle up to 30% to 40% than traditional stick built construction method. This project employs modularisation to reduce waste and increase the product durability by creating completely customisable and flexible units.

One of the philosophy of our company is ‘Our Challenge is to continually define new markets by expanding the frontiers of research, engineering and customer application in our chosen field of

business’. By doing this we seek dependable partnership with our suppliers to generate a strong mutual interest in each other’s welfare.

In today’s highly demanding industrial market, modularisation can enhance project development, execution and construction. Modular approach is no more expensive compared to alternative conventional methods while being much faster and easier to install with less likelihood of on-site failures. With the space savings and many other potential gains from that, modular approach has quickly demonstrated the real value to world.

Please refer below links for Videos shared on You tube by Thermax giving glance about Thermax capabilities in execution & supply of largest Plug & Play type boiler & heater Assemblies.

Sonal Agarwal, Product Manager (Modularisation), TBWES, A Thermax Group Company

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