SGS is pleased to announce that in January 2012 it was awarded two contracts for comprehensive third party services by Dow Chemical for their Tarragona Cracker Octene Plant in Spain. The contracts have been awarded in anticipation of the maintenance shutdown that has been scheduled at the plant for May 2012.

Dow Chemical is an American multinational chemical corporation with headquarters in Midland, in the industrial state of Michigan, United States. In scheduling a maintenance shutdown of its prized Tarragona plant, Dow Chemical is seeking to assure optimum performance while ensuring utmost safety. To that end, SGS has two contracts with Dow; the first contract is to provide in-service inspection of butt welds through the use of ultrasonic testing methods and the second contract is to conduct quality assurance supervision during the maintenance shutdown scheduled for May 2012.

SGS will be applying state of the art ultrasonic testing (UT) methodologies in the course of its first contract with Dow, including time of flight diffraction (ToFD) and phased array of butt welds on reactor D-2230 during plant shutdown. Ultrasonic testing involves the use of sound waves of short wavelength at high frequencies to identify flaws, measure the thickness of materials and also detect corrosion. The combination of the ToFD and phased array approaches offers the greatest available probability of detection for in-service induced cracks. In addition, in-service inspection will allow Dow to assess the remaining service life of the plant components under test, enabling proper decision-making for future maintenance.

For the second contract, SGS will provide quality assurance and quality control services during the Tarragona plant maintenance shutdown, helping to ensure compliance with all contractual specifications, mandatory regulations and quality standards. Highly skilled specialists covering areas such as electricity, instrumentation and mechanical engineering ensure that correct procedure is followed in the shutdown process, avoiding negative impact on the facilities and helping to implement optimum performance for the future. SGS will verify that the implementation of its duties for the performance of this contract is conducted according to all relevant standards, internal and external requirements and follows the detailed plans and all relevant work procedures.

SGS will provide quality supervision of the fieldwork during the maintenance shutdown in accordance with ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) codes, as well as verifying compliance with standards, monitoring procedures for implementation of works according to the inspection points plan, ensuring optimal conditions for equipment delivery during start-up.

SGS won the confidence of Dow Chemical due to the advanced technology it was able to offer, along with the availability of its Tarragona team, avoiding travel costs for Dow. In choosing SGS, Dow can be assured that the inspection of the plant will be conducted thoroughly, with its full range of comprehensive services increasing the probability of detection of in-service induced cracks. SGS’ long experience and knowledge of quality assurance inspired Dow Chemical to organize quality assurance so as to lengthen the period of time between maintenance shutdowns, thus saving future costs.

SGS anticipates its testing contract to take in the region of ten days, with two teams of three people providing 24 hour cover. SGS is pleased to be able to provide two ASNT UT Level II operators, two EN TOFD and PA level II operators and two ASNT UT level I from its Tarragona non-destructive testing (NDT) team. For the quality assurance contract, SGS has scheduled a six month project, with several highly qualified inspectors working fulltime as of February 2012. Dow is also considering a permanent implementation of this service, extending the possibility of contract renewal.

For further information, please contact:

SGS Tecnos
Javier Garrido
Local Manager
c/ Oro Parcela 203 bajos Polígono Industrial Riu Clar 43080
Tarragona, Spain
t: +34 977 554 084


SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 70,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,350 offices and laboratories around the world.