Murphy Company performed all the mechanical, HVAC, and AG plumbing for ICL Specialty Products Carondelet Plant Manufacturing Facility Expansion. The project consisted of a new building inclusive of new food process manufacturing equipment for a plant-based protein product at ICL’s plant. Murphy furnished and installed AHU units, ductwork, and accessories as well as installed all process tanks, process and utility piping, above-grade plumbing, and a sump pump and suction line. Murphy rose to the challenge and overcame design changes as well as major supply chain issues.
Murphy worked closely with CRB OneSolution™ to help formalize this pilot plant, a new process for this owner. As late as August 2021, owner requirements continued to evolve during construction. In June 2021, the owner/GC canceled long lead equipment (three specialty tanks) that they had ordered six months earlier. CRB, ICL, & Murphy developed a solution with the least impact on the startup schedule, identifying three existing tanks that were brought to Murphy’s Fabrication Shop, where substantial modifications to ASME code vessels were performed, allowing them to meet specific project requirements, preventing a startup delay of at least 4-6 months.
Project’s most challenging aspect
Tank delays and last-minute process changes were major challenges we successfully overcame. Murphy removed the top from one tank and created a custom removable lid out of plate steel, removing & adjusting the vessel jacketing to accommodate the removable lid, and polishing the tanks ID to meet surface finish requirements. Other modifications included manway modifications, adding & removing nozzles, as well as adding access ladder platforms. Process changes in August 2021 meant we had to make both shop, and later, field modifications to the Pug Mills, adding owner operational ability to adjust the slope, and adding utilities to make it more user-friendly.
How Did the Project Excel
Despite working in an operating plant with a tight site, Murphy worked through COVID unknowns with minimal exposure or quarantine impacts. Murphy’s daily pre-task planning process was leveraged to keep employee spacing optimal. Added focus on cleanliness & sanitization, coupled with Behavioral Based Safety Program, reinforced the safety of co-workers.
Project Communications Process
CRB’s Onesolution™ integrated project delivery method for regulated facilities was key to bringing this plant on-line quickly, especially with the supply chain issues with the tanks. Murphy was considered a key team member, taking the initial design, making minor coordination adjustments and then maximizing pre-fabrication to move the schedule forward.
Workforce and Contractor Diversity
Murphy supports and encourages a diverse and inclusive workforce in its Fab Shops as well as on all job sites. Murphy stringently enforces all EEOC requirements in its recruitment and hiring. We also regularly work with MBE/WBE companies as subcontractors/suppliers. There were not any set requirements on this project.
Quality of Construction Process
In food processing, strict quality must be maintained. Process piping was orbital welded for process and CIP systems. This project required a variety of materials for process & chemical piping including but not limited to: Nickel Alloys (304/316 stainless, C22/C276 Inconel), polypropylene, Copper, Cast Iron, PVC, Carbon Steel, among others.
Use of Technology and Innovation
Murphy’s experience with food processing plants and air quality in regulated processing environments made this project a success. Murphy leveraged our Building Information Modeling group to maximize fabrication on the project. Our Fab Shop’s quick retrofit of specialty tanks to precise ASME standards was critical in keeping this project on track.
How did you manage schedule?
Murphy helped drive the schedule, installing piping & ductwork in sub-freezing temperatures prior to building enclosure. Murphy’s site team work safely to avoid any COVID schedule disruptions until supply chain disruptions occurred. Delayed delivery on the specialty tanks would have added 4-6 months had Murphy not stepped up to fabricate.
How did you manage budget?
Murphy Company carefully monitored both labor and components, continuously monitoring current expenditures against original estimates. Despite multiple changes and additional assignments, the project was completed within budget. Pre-fabrication/assembly of ductwork and piping and other components helped us control both quality and cost in a controlled shop environment.
Impact on the Community
Plant-based, dairy-free protein products are entering the U.S. market at a rapid rate. By creating this new pea protein processing plant ICL Specialty Products is now able to provide plant-based chicken nuggets to their customers. The new pilot plant also created approximately 12-15 new jobs in the St. Louis area.