Apr 22
Desert Diamonds
Desert Diamonds
The making of the Southwest Gas Field Development Project in Algeria
The formidable Sahara stretches on endlessly. Temperatures touch extremes,and civilisation exists only in sparse oases. These were the challenging conditions in which L&T Energy Hydrocarbon  (LTEH) undertook the mega Southwest Gas Field Development project for Algeria’s national oil & gas major, Sonatrach.
For LTEH, this was a project of ‘firsts’. At USD 1.1 billion, it was the first project that exceeded USD 1 billion in value. It was LTEH’s first Algerian project, and its first modular onshore project of its kind. These firsts – plus its location 1,200 km into the arid Sahara – added to the project’s overall risk profile.
The project comprised three Central Processing Facilities (CPFs) in natural gas fields – Hassi Ba Hamou, Hassi Tidjerane and Tinerkouk.
The CPFs consist of slug catchers, gas coalescers and filters, LP-compression units, gas dehydration units, mercury-removal units, HP compression units, gas metering, air compressors, control room buildings, gas turbine generators and substations.
They include administrative buildings and other utilities required to independently run and maintain these three plants, which have a combined capacity of 14 million metric standard cubic metres per day (MMSCMD).
Considering the magnitude of the project, a dedicated engineering taskforce was formed at LTEH’s office at Vadodara, India. Almost 300+ engineers were mobilised for the massive task of generating over 25,000 documents in less than 18 months! Engineering hurdles were tackled and transformed into opportunities. Standardising the three CPFs drastically reduced the engineering manhours and increased the interchangeability of parts.
Modularisation Magic

Over 750 modules were fabricated at L&T’s state-of-the-art modular fabrication yard at Hazira (Gujarat, India) and other vendor shops and shipped to Algeria. This reduced the onsite work, optimised the overall schedule, and is sustainable; after depletion of the gas reserves, the modular units will be transported tot he next site.
Managing Risks
Several initiatives were undertaken to mitigate the risks caused by the remoteness of the site. A secured camp was set up, a dedicated fiber optic connection of more than 300 km was laid, as were over 130 km of new roads.
Over 360 military personnel were deployed to ensure safe transport and a secure camp. For the movement of expats outside the camp, the support of the local Gendarmerie was obtained.
Over 200 other risks were proactively identified, diligently monitored and successfully mitigated through timely and judicious interventions.
Materials, Manpower, Milestones

Since the project was of strategic importance, all major orders were placed within the first 3 months for material from across the globe.
With a mixed team of Algerian staff and Indian expats on roll, the construction works started on the back of early engineering drawing releases, overcoming the execution challenges. The works were sub-contracted to major Algerian national companies and more than 2,600 workmen were mobilised.
The commissioning milestones were achieved in record time. The inaugural breakthrough was when gas flowed for the first time in Tinerkouk on January 7, 2023, followed by the remarkable export on February 15.
A new benchmark was set – the swift export of gas from Hassi Tidjerane within a mere 30 days. Finally, on the National Day of Algeria, 5 July, gas was exported from the Hassi Ba Hamou CPF, the biggest and most remote of the gas fields.
Safety & Quality

Steadfastly propagating the safety-first culture, the team clocked over 24 million safe manhours in the harsh environment, with local manpower. With strong belief of ‘First Time Right’, they maintained a quality index exceeding 91% throughout the lifecycle of the project – which was highly appreciated by the client and all government regulatory authorities.
On-Track Triumph

Sonatrach expressed deep satisfaction with LTEH’s ‘One Time One Goal’ approach, on-time completion, on-spec gas production and seamless statutory approvals.
The timely production of the Provisional Acceptance Certificates for all three plants within the contractual completion date affirms LTEH’s focus on ‘Execution par Excellence’. Now fully operational, these plants proudly shine as three jewels in the L&T crown.
Apr 22
Rejuvenating Refinery
Rejuvenating Refinery
IOCL gets critical equipment for Panipat refinery expansion
L&T Heavy Engineering (HE) achieved another significant milestone by completing the fabrication of two H-Oil Reactors and an HP Amine Absorber for the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) refinery expansion at Panipat in Haryana.
Ms Sukla Mistry (Director – Refinery, IOCL), along with senior delegates from the Engineers India Ltd, flagged off this equipment from L&T’s A M Naik Heavy Engineering Complex at Hazira on 17 February.
Present at the event were Mr Anil V Parab (Whole-time Director & Sr EVP – Heavy Engineering and L&T Valves), Mr Ajay Jain (EVP – L&T Energy Hydrocarbon) and Mr Falgun Chokshi (EVP – Heavy Engineering, L&T).
The H-Oil proprietary technology of a residue hydrocracking unit is licensed by the Axens Group. This is the first time that this technology is being used by IOCL. It meets the challenge of converting heavy feedstock residues into essentially distillate products, ranging from vacuum gasoil to naphtha.
Each H-Oil reactor is fabricated from Cr-Mo-V(Chromium-Molybdenum-Vanadium), a low- ferritic alloy that is ideal of high temperatures. Each weighs 1016 MT. In all, L&T has so far supplied 37 critical equipment for the refinery expansion project.
This is yet another example of L&T Heavy Engineering’s delivery capability of critical equipment with high quality standards.

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