Giant Chevron coker drums headed to El Segundo refinery

February 18, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Southern California is in for another big move. First it was the "Levitated Mass," then the space shuttle Endeavour. Now, it's two giant coker drums.

Coker drums are used to refine oil. The two drums were unloaded from a barge in Redondo Beach Monday. The drums are 100 feet long, 28 feet in diameter, and each weighs 500,000 pounds.

Chevron plans on using the cylindrical drums to replace older units installed in the 1960s in the refinery's coker unit in El Segundo. The same dolly system used to move the space shuttle from LAX to the California Science Center is being used again. The pair of drums is the first two of six massive drums bound for the oil refinery.

By 2 p.m., both drums were off the barge. On Monday night, crews will move the drums by self-propelled modular transporters up to 190th Street. Street lights and other obstructions have already been moved out of the way.

They will then move down Pacific Coast Highway where they will be transferred to different vehicles. The vehicles will haul the cokers toward Sepulveda Boulevard before turning on Rosecrans and Pacific avenues and arriving at the refinery property Wednesday.

"It's going to be amazing. I think this part's pretty exciting, but I think the most exciting part is how they get it through the streets because they've got to turn corners, and up and down hills and through neighborhoods," said Harry Munns of Redondo Beach.

Overhead traffic lights will need to be turned sideways and other temporary adjustments will need to be done along Highway 1 from Redondo Beach to El Segundo at 10 p.m. Wednesday night until 5 a.m. Thursday.

The remaining four coke drums are scheduled to be unloaded on Feb. 25 and March 4.

According to Chevron, the drums, which will be used in the refining process to turn crude oil into gasoline, will be installed early next year during regularly scheduled maintenance. It will not, according to the oil company, interrupt the supply of fuel to consumers.

For more information, visit www.elsegundo.chevron.com

CNS contributed to this report.


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