Inspect, maintain, invest : Pont-de-Claix site at the heart of the big shutdown

At the beginning of April, productions have been stopped, in order to carry out the deep inspection of chemical engineering devices and to be sure of their integrity and reliability. These mandatory controls are made to guaranty the safety of units. They are supervized by the internal Inspection department, that have a special accreditation from the French Administration. Corrosion, erosion, thickness and resistance of materials are tested and verified with sophisticated methods, like endoscopy, magnetoscopy, ultrasounds, radiography…

Companies of the chemical complex take the opportunity of this period to make heavy maintenance operations, that are difficult or simply impossible to make during production periods.

The last but not the least topic of this shutdown is to invest in new units. It is the case of the new hydrochloric acid synthesis (a part of the Eagle project) and sections linked with the Apollo project. They both will start by the end of May. Building of the new electrolysis plant are also in progress. Total duration of the shutdown is around two months. 1200 subcontractors are present during peak period hundreds of operations are on going simultaneously: opening of equipments, high pressure cleaning, replacement of pipes, handlings… Numerous safety technicians are on the field in order to check the respect of the safety rules, anticipate hazardous situations and give advices to workers. In this context, top priority is safety, and environment respect.