Oil and Chemical Plant Layout and Spacing

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GE GAP Guidelines
A Publication of GE Global Asset Protection Services

GAP.2.5.2 September 3, 2001

OIL AND CHEMICAL PLANT LAYOUT AND SPACING
INTRODUCTION
Loss experience clearly shows that fires or explosions in congested areas of oil and chemical plants can result in extensive losses. Wherever explosion or fire hazards exist, proper plant layout and adequate spacing between hazards are essential to loss prevention and control. Layout relates to the relative position of equipment or units within a given site. Spacing pertains to minimum distances between units or equipment. GE Global Asset Protection Services (GE GAP Services) layout and spacing recommendations are for property loss prevention purposes only and are intended for existing and new oil and chemical facilities. These guidelines are intended to limit explosion overpressure and fire exposure damage. They do not address shrapnel damage. If these guidelines cannot be followed, then additional loss control measures, such as fire proofing, waterspray or blast hardening will be necessary. GE GAP Services guidelines only address spacing and layout within a plant and are mostly applicable to open structures. An open air design favors vapor dissipation, provides adequate ventilation, reduces the size of the electrically classified area, and increases firefighting accessibility. Additional information can be found in several publications.1

POSITION Management Programs
Management program administrators should report to top management through the minimum number of steps. They should also institute loss prevention inspection and audit programs to communicate program effectiveness to top management. This management feedback is a key feature of GAP.1.0.1 (OVERVIEW).2 In developing a program, pay particular attention to the following important areas: Hazard Identification and Evaluation Program Determine the plant layout and spacing necessary to limit loss size based on worst case scenarios for vapor cloud, vessel and building explosions, and for fires. Calculate overpressure circles. See GAP.8.0.1.1 for hazard analysis and evaluation methods applicable to various explosion or fire scenarios. This analysis can be completed in coordination with GE GAP Services loss prevention personnel.

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Copyright 2001, GE Global Asset Protection Services

GE Global Asset Protection Services and its affiliated organizations provide loss prevention surveys and other risk management, business continuity and facility asset management services. Unless otherwise stated in writing, our personnel, publications, services, and surveys do not address life safety or third party liability issues. The provision of any service is not meant to imply that every possible hazard has been identified at a facility or that no other hazards exist. GE Global Asset Protection Services and its affiliated organizations do not assume, and shall have no liability for the control, correction, continuation or modification of any existing conditions or operations. We specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that compliance with any advice or recommendation in any document or other communication will make a facility or operation safe or healthful, or put it in compliance with any law, rule or regulation. If there are any questions concerning any recommendations, or if you have alternative solutions, please contact us.

GAP.2.5.2 September 3, 2001
Management of Change Conduct a Hazard Identification and Evaluation program for all new processes or for any modification to an existing process prior to completing final site selection and equipment layout. Determine the need for changes to spacing or layout.

Duplication of Facilities
For large-scale chemical and petrochemical plants, provide multiple process trains. In large scale plants, duplicate, with installed spares, equipment that is highly susceptible to loss or important for...
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