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Durasteel protects record-breaking chemical complex

Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia

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Contact Fraser Shearer Sarun Vysakham Ben Tan Azim Rizvi Anand Raghavan Our USA Office

Home Case Studies Durasteel protects record-breaking chemical complex


Durasteel Fire Barriers

Fire Rating

2 and 4-Hour Integrity & Insulation

Company background

Sadara Chemical Company is a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and The Dow Chemical Company, two of the world’s leading petrochemical firms. The company was founded to construct and manage Sadara, intended to be the world’s largest chemical complex ever built in a single phase.

On completion of the project in Jubail Industrial City in Saudi Arabia, Sadara would house 26 integrated world-scale manufacturing plants, producing more than three million tonnes of products every year.


Project challenges

Invicta Durasteel was approached to design and install a high performance passive fire protection solution for the site’s solids and liquids packaging centres and silos. The system would have to prevent the spread of a fire between several adjacent areas within the plants, such that any fire would be contained to one area.

The volatile nature of the materials processed by the plants meant that the barriers had to be rated to resist extremely hot, fast-developing hydrocarbon fires. The prestige of the project and relationship between the two companies also demanded extremely high standards and an efficient turnaround.


Technical constraints

The areas in which the barriers had to be installed were designed to process and package petrochemical byproducts into solid and liquid products. This involves the passing of products and byproducts between several distinct areas, with drums being carried via conveyor belts between handling, filling and storage areas. This naturally presented a problem in how fires would be contained within these areas, and be prevented from spreading through the various service entry points.

The nature of the byproducts in the plant meant that it was susceptible to a hydrocarbon fire, which can reach temperatures of 1000°C in just seven minutes. Additionally, the tall warehouse-style steel buildings meant that the fire barriers would have to extend to more than 16m in height to the roof apex, something that would be extremely difficult to achieve using concrete which would require significant foundations and make little sense in a steel structure of this type.


Installed solution

We designed a bespoke solution using both 2 and 4-hour fire integrity and insulation barriers for Sadara to protect their solids and liquids packaging centres and silos. Each area in the plants was individually compartmented,with conveyors and other services configured to pass safely through the Durasteel walls without compromising the fire certification.

Invicta installed a total of more than 6500m² of fire-rated barriers across the site, to a maximum height of more than 16m, and with each barrier containing multiple service penetrations, each of which was appropriately fire sealed according to the penetration type. The largest individual barrier ran to a length of 66m and height of more than 16m, while we also installed 43  fire-rated Durasteel doors of single and double leaf configurations to allow for both personnel and equipment access between the areas. A number of the barriers were also designed to be load-bearing and directly support the loads of building services instead of independent support systems being required.


Key benefits

Invicta Durasteel successfully designed and installed a bespoke system of fire barriers at Sadara, providing high performance fire protection to key elements of the site from the threat of an uncontrolled hydrocarbon fire. Both the barriers and doors were fire-rated to contain and protect against hydrocarbon fires, facilitating a safe and swift evacuation and response in the event of an emergency.


End result

The project was completed within a year and on budget, satisfying the needs of the client. It was one of the largest and most complex projects we have worked on, and a landmark for both Invicta and the Sadara Chemical Company.


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