Chemical Plant - Liquidation & Dismantlement - Sunoco Chemicals

Date Published:   08/01/2014

Sunoco Chemical closed its aniline plant in 2001 due to changing markets.  The aniline plant was located within a larger facility that still operated several other chemical process plants.  As part of a corporate initiative to exit non-core businesses, the entire site was put up for sale.  However, prior selling the entire site, our client wanted to remove all assets associated with the non-operating portions of the site, which included the aniline plant as well as a thermal oxidizer area, boiler area, exhaust stack area and boneyard.


Our Solution


Asset Recovery / Sales Plan

Phoenix Equipment paid Sunoco for the plant and equipment and performed all removal and dismantlement work at no cost to Sunoco.  Phoenix Equipment was able to pay Sunoco and perform the entire scope of dismantlement and environmental work by leveraging our ability to purchase and resell chemical process equipment far beyond inherent scrap value.  Phoenix safely dismantled and rigged out at its own expense over 45 pieces of process equipment for resale, including: (4) 90,000 gallon bullet tanks - 250 psi; Multi-Stage Pfaulder Wiped Film Evaporator System; Ammonia Recovery System; Riley Stoker Boiler System; Callidus Technologies Thermal Oxidizer System; (2) Stainless Steel Scrubbing Systems; Stainless Steel and Carbon Steel Packed and Tray Columns; (25+) Vertical and Horizontal Stainless Steel and Carbon Steel Shell & Tube Heat Exchangers.


Asset Recovery Summary

  • 45+ Pieces of Process Equipment
  • 1,000,000 lbs+ of Non-ferrous material
  • 2500 Ton+ of Carbon Steel


Dismantlement Work

The various areas removed in our asset recovery work at the plant presented numerous problems which had to be solved safely and economically by our company. The Aniline Plant covering over 80,000 square feet of space had been shut down over 10 years ago, including the closure of water and chemical sewers in the area.  The plant records showed that the equipment and piping had been cleaned but an Alumina pellet catalyst might remain in two reactors and residue might remain in several heat exchangers.  Phoenix could not verify the extent of the areas clean-up operation from 10 years prior so we set-up an equipment/piping clean-up area within the Aniline Area, set up water to the clean-up area, and we connected the clean-up area to the active chemical sewer in an adjacent active area. Using appropriate PPE, our workers performed line breaks of the piping at the equipment connections and low points, moving the equipment (i.e. columns, heat exchangers, etc.) and piping to the clean-up area as necessary.  The two reactors in the Aniline Area did contain Alumina catalyst which we had tested.  Through our contacts, we were able to find a recycler for the catalyst instead of expensive landfilling saving significant money.

The four 90,000 gallon bullet tanks we removed were in a diked area surrounded by soft earth.  Our PE designed a cost effective dunnage system allowing our crane to sit close enough for safe and economical lifts. The area housing the Riley-Stokes Boiler system also contained a 150’0” high column to be removed.  The area was surrounded by elevated active pipe bridges and an active tank storage area.  Sparks emanating from our cutting operations had to be minimized.  Phoenix devised a system to contain the sparks and using a man-lift and a 300 Ton crane we dismantled the column. The Thermal Oxidizer was located beneath a remaining steel structure which supported active equipment and piping. The Oxidizer had to be sectionalized and carefully removed.

Our 10 person crew spent seven months at the Ohio plant to safely perform the project without any injury or incident.  Phoenix utilized a Komatsu PC400 Excavator equipped with a shear, a Komatsu PC300 Excavator equipped with a grapple, various cranes ranging from 65 Tons to 500 Tons, various man-lifts, skid steer dozers and forklifts.  Our crew worked with the plant’s employees to time our operations in the plant’s active areas.


Dismantlement Summary

  • Process Equipment and Piping Rinsing
  • Catalyst Recovery
  • Equipment Rigging
  • Plant Dismantlement and Demolition
  • Scrap Recycling

The Phoenix Difference

Phoenix Equipment has been the trusted experts for used process equipment and complete chemical plants for over 60 years. We combine an expansive equipment inventory with industry leading knowledge to help you find what you need.

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