A shutdown of Caltex’s Lytton Oil Refinery in Brisbane required the highest standards of hire equipment and service.

Lytton Oil Refinery is the largest refinery in Queensland, producing 60 per cent of the state’s fuel requirements with an output of 18 million litres of fuel per day.

The refinery sits at the mouth of the Brisbane River, beside the Port of Brisbane, and has around 700 people working at it. The refinery produces gasoline and diesel, as well as jet fuel which is piped directly to Brisbane Airport.

From July 22 to September 1, Lytton held a scheduled shutdown to conduct maintenance on infrastructure. The shutdowns allow Caltex to bring expert engineers and trades contractors onto the site and conduct checks, repairs and replacements to ensure the facility operates safely and effectively.

During the ‘shuts’, the Lytton Oil Refinery increases its on-site workforce by 450 in order to get the project completed in the allotted 42 days. And to support the increased workforce, Coates Hire was contracted to supply the industrial equipment required to do the job.

Scott Millard, Coates Hire’s Business Development Manager – Construction, says the shutdown required around 450 people over 42 days and required a lot of equipment and servicing.

“We supplied a full Coates Hire tool store, as well as all of the contractor support equipment such as generators, compressors, light towers, power cabling and distribution boards, torque tools, hydraulic equipment and forklifts.”

Millard says that given the heights that many of the contractors worked at, Coates Hire also supplied a variety of different elevated work platforms such as scissor lifts and knuckle booms. To suppress the dust, the project used a Coates Hire water truck.

Millard says Coates Hire is experienced with industrial shutdowns and has management systems to underpin the equipment hire.

“These big shuts are under very tight deadlines and we have mobile service crews to ensure downtime is kept to a minimum when there are breakdowns, and we use our digital platforms to ensure compliance.”

Those digital platforms are shared by the customer and allow the project managers and supervisors to see that all equipment is tested and tagged for safety, and to see its service history if they wish.

“At a refinery shutdown, you have a lot of contractors coming on-site and working alongside the employees, and everything has to be safe as well as efficient,” says Millard, who says the Lytton shutdown finished on-time.

“So all of our equipment is tracked on a digital platform.”

He says the Lytton refinery shutdown also used the Coates Hire CHASE system, which tags the equipment checked out from the tool store, and assigns a user to it.

“The customer uses CHASE to see which contractors and contractor groups are damaging the equipment, or who has lost a piece of equipment. It’s good for cost-controls and it allows the customer to make changes that improve safety outcomes.”

Millard says service is crucial on big shutdowns.

“The customers need our modern, safe equipment, but they also need instant access to our service crews when things go wrong.”

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