Responsible Construction at All Times: Update from Clariant Site

Bilfinger Tebodin is providing EPCM services for a commercial-scale plant for the production of 2nd generation bioethanol from agricultural residues. Clariant, a focused, sustainable and innovative specialty chemical company, is building it in the Craiova region of Romania. Here is the newest update from the construction site.

Unique design carried out responsibly

The new plant will be the first 2nd generation bioethanol sunliquid plant of this size in the world.

“The construction of this advanced bioethanol plant is unprecedented for us, this will allow both us and Clariant to boost the experience and knowledge, be among the front-runners and enable us to implement lessons learned in the followup plants to come,” says Jorg Gerritsen, Project Director at Bilfinger Tebodin.

On behalf of Clariant, Bilfinger Tebodin provides the complete EPCM scope (engineering, procurement, construction and project management) utilizing the force of an international team of colleagues based in the Netherlands, Romania, Poland, Czech Republic and Ukraine. Bilfinger Tebodin is in charge of overall planning, engineering, contracting, site management and supervision of the bioethanol plant.

Since years ago, Bilfinger Tebodin has developed its systems to working remotely using all required software, the current Covid-19 pandemic has been managed with a minimal disruption to the site works. The worldwide switch from working at the office to working from home caused some problems for many businesses, whereas Bilfinger Tebodin was able to make a smooth transition with regular communication through video calls and all documentation on shared platforms. These systems have been in place and used regularly for a number of years. The final outcome is a full transfer of information between design offices, the site and clients’ offices, ensuring quick decision making and allowing the project to progress as planned.


Managing the construction during a pandemic

As a site supervisor, Bilfinger Tebodin cooperates closely with Clariant to coordinate the work of different contractors (civil, mechanical, electrical and instrumentation) as well as to check the quality of work, and takes care that all the safety rules are implemented and respected.

“Probably, no one can be 100% ready to deal with such an emergency as Covid-19 brought suddenly in 2020. Important is how quickly and professionally you react to this,” says Ion Soare, HSE Manager at the Clariant site. “On March 16, 2020, the same day when the National Emergency Situation was enforced in Romania, we developed two scenarios together with Clariant to manage the situation and were ready to act however the situation develops.”

The two scenarios that were developed are as follows:

  1. Business Continuity Plan to ensure the work continuity. The plan establishes clear measures, responsibilities, and deadlines for all parties involved: client representatives, Bilfinger Tebodin employees, and contractors.
  2. Site Emergency Closing Plan in case the site needs to be closed due to an infectious case, or by the authorities’ decision to may stop the construction activities as happened in other European countries. This scenario also covers decisive measures on how to preserve the site in case of closure.

Fortunately, the construction was not stopped for any period of time. “I consider this as the result of the combined efforts of Clariant, Bilfinger Tebodin, the civil contractors, and workers safety-respective behavior,” says Ion Soare. “Basically, Bilfinger Tebodin in this situation acts as a stable bridge, connecting our own safety procedures, client corporate requirements and governmental regulations into one working and safe process at the site, taking into account the worldwide project experience.”

Apart from keeping the general precaution measures like wearing masks, having disinfectant liquids available, and keeping 2 meters distance, there are additional steps HSE undertook to keep the site safely operating. Such steps included logistics issues, e.g. handling incoming goods from countries outside Romania, and goods quarantine, travel policy and site access.

Disinfectant is used for all common spaces. Workers are split into teams and the spaces for taking lunch breaks are enlarged in order to keep the safe distance. HSE manages the site situation from special access procedures (like visitors’ and workers’ temperature measuring) up to creating conditions for workers’ accommodation near the site.

Bilfinger Tebodin is an engineering and consulting company, which is managing industrial projects for 75 years worldwide. It manages the project for Clariant in Romania since 2019. The design is nearly completed and right now the construction works are ongoing. The installation of tanks at the first-of-its-kind cellulosic ethanol plant has recently started.

Bilfinger Tebodin safety team is present on the Clariant site to ensure on behalf of Clariant that all the requirements of Project HSE Management System are implemented and respected by all contractors in pandemic and normal time. •

Contact in Romania: George Cursaru • Mobile +40 722 686 331 •


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