Front-end engineering design is the critical link between the basic concept for a new or revamped facility and the documents and drawings that instruct a constructor to install the facility.

The Engineering Contractor performing the front-end engineering design must be a full service organization capable of state-of-the-art design computations, having expert knowledge about equipment and components, and be able to provide worldwide procurement and all other services to complete the project. Activities and work involved in front-end engineering design are described in the remainder of this section. The following list assumes a basic concept. A block flow configuration has been defined for a new refining complex, and key technology suppliers have been pre-selected. Early activities include the following:
Kick-off meeting to review technical concepts, capital targets, milestones and constraints.
Definition of overall design feedstock.
Definition of overall product specifications.
Agreement on general engineering and mechanical specification guidelines.
Definition of climatic conditions and environmental/emissions controls for design purposes.
Establishment of utility conditions.
Performance of preliminary site investigation including soil testing and hydrological work.
Performance of Process Basis of Design (PBD).
Establishment of liaison with technology suppliers.
Performance of preliminary calculations and simulations to define feed streams to major units.
Subcontractor for initial soil testing.
Definition of site access paths/sizes of modules and other site constraints.
Following this work, effort will be focused on each major unit or system. Some of these may come from technology suppliers and some will be prepared by ACEC. ACEC will coordinate all systems. Typically, each unit will include the following:
Process Flow Diagram (PFD)
Material balances
Major equipment data sheets
Design criteria for special items
Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams (P&IDs)
Preliminary plot plan
Operational Guidelines
Estimated relief and emergency loads
Normal and start-up/shutdown utility requirements
Major line list
Materials of construction
Selected computer simulations
Sizing criteria for control valves, pumps and special systems
ACEC will define a Distributed Control System (DCS) and advanced control/data logging computers as well as other control room auxiliaries. All information will be integrated to make it site-specific. Additional soil testing may be needed to confirm foundation conditions under heavy equipment. The P&IDs for all units will be reviewed, made consistent with the general engineering specifications, and a computerized master instrument listing compiled. P&IDs will be reissued as necessary. Our equipment specialists will review all equipment items to confirm sizes and actual availability from several vendors. Specific technical attachments for procurement of engineered items will be prepared and assembled. Equipment data sheets will be reissued with specific mechanical requirements shown. For long delivery or critical items, procurement can be commenced early. Utility requirements and header interfaces will be established where needed. New electrical distribution and other utility systems or additional trains will be defined and engineered as part of the scope. Plot plans and layouts will be modified to include substations, motor control centers, instrument air compressor/drier sets, and DCS interfaces. Relief and emergency loads will be addressed and sequenced. The need for new flare capacity will be determined and the flare engineered and specified if included in the scope of work.

Special foundations and associated piping will be engineered in detail and other foundations will be rough sized for the plot plan to ensure adequate space is available. Interconnecting pipelines between units and yard lines to and from storage or shipping will be routed for refinery pipe rack overlays and sized. Special isolation and manifolding will be delineated. Electrical system studies will be performed and loads will be developed and summarized. A preliminary electrical one-line diagram will be prepared. An initial list of major electrical switchgear, transformers, and high voltage cabling will be prepared. In most cases, all preceding documents, specifications and drawings will be compiled into "Tender Inquiry Document" suitable to issue to prospective contractors interested in the detailed engineering design and procurement of general equipment and bulk materials.

ACEC can obtain budgetary pricing information from representative suppliers and vendors, and make rough takeoffs of piping, bulks, and other commodities. We will also investigate construct-ability and construction manpower requirements and durations. The Control Cost Estimate developed from this effort will be suitable for use in appropriations, funding and project management.
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