S-040 - Analysis of Emergency Response of Integrated Vital Utilities (IVUR)

The Risk

Asset owners of Integrated Hydrocarbon plants require that the integrity of each of their vital utility systems is maintained as long as possible during emergency upsets.  

The Process

Matured/weathered Refineries and other Hydrocarbon plants at times suffer partial or total site black-out due to a domino effect through tripping of their integrated vital utilities (Cooling Water, Electric Power, Steam, Instrument Air, Fuel-Gas), etc.

As an example, Cooling Water is pumped from various sources comprising a mixed combination of pumps (diesel/electric driven). Electric power required for the pumping of Cooling Water is obtained from different supply sources (municipality and own generation). Instrument air is produced from different sources and different means, required to control the C.W. valves, the generator prime movers etc. Hence vital utilities are mutually required to be produced and controlled.  Integrated Vital Utilities together form a sort of maze handshake. It has been established by Triple EEE staff that if integrity of any single of the identified Integrated Vital Utilities on your multiple plants is lost due to a calamity, a total plant-site black-out is inevitable.

Through time the original integrated plant design criteria are forgotten by operator staff and changed work methods etc. Thus integrity is lost due to plant changes, equipment removals, change in production throughput and manpower re-organizations. These changes are often implemented as ‘improvements’ by short-term economics driven KPI’s of the Plant management team without due cognizance of their plant-wide impact related to the integration of vital utilities serving a multitude of production facilities on the same plot site. In Y2005 alone, a multinational oil company suffered total plant black-outs at 8 refineries worldwide with hundreds of millions USD losses. 

A Triple EEE team is available to review your plants.

The Benefits

The deliverable of the Integrated Vital Utilities Review is a comprehensive report with the actions proposed to meet the required overall plant integrity of today, with due cognizance of the original design basis. It will also provide the recommended initial interim measures that need to be taken to mitigate the risks or reduce them to ALARP. This provides asset owners with the necessary documentation to assist them in the safeguarding of their personnel at the workplace and achieve the require Integrated Vital Utility integrity.

The Team

Depending on the size and extent of your facilities, a Triple EEE team of at least two specialist consultants will carry out the site survey, collect crucial data, interview key operational staff and evaluate historical incident upset reports. The team makes an analysis based on the expected emergency response of Integrated Vital Utilities against the desired emergency response as per latest Refinery Utility Plan (if there is one).

The report of findings is validated by an independent principal consultant prior to issue.

The Timing

An Integrated Vital Utilities Review (IVUR) is normally applied to existing (aged) operational installations.

Optimal collection of applicable documentation prior to the field survey will facilitate focus on work at site.


All matured/weathered refinery and gas/chemical plant operators.


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    Contact René Snoodijk

    René Snoodijk

    General Manager


    +316 55 12 46 81

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