How do you purge and dry a 660,000 ton/year propane dehydrogenation unit and 400,000 ton/year polypropylene unit without electricity? That was just one of the challenges put to Atlas Copco Rental by its customer, a downstream chemicals plant as part of a large-scale maintenance operation. The other? Speed!
Fortunately, we are well accustomed to working against the clock and under challenging conditions. And when you put superior technology and the unwavering dedication of our local team together, anything is possible.
Against the clock
“Time” is and always has been “money”, no matter what industry you’re in. But in today’s extremely competitive downstream chemical processing sector, the old adage seems to be doubly true.
So when planning a maintenance operation of this magnitude, finding a fast, efficient and reliable solution was a top priority. But drying and purging the plant’s enormous production units on schedule meant being able to deliver an extremely high flow of oil-free air of 80m3/min.
Dryer than dry
In addition to the high output requirements, the resulting air flow also had to be extremely dry to avoid compromising the propane dehydrogenation unit’s distillation system during maintenance. To put it in perspective, the moisture limit of 1 part per million (with dew point of maximum -80°C) is around 5000 times dryer than the air above the Sahara Desert!
On the move
To complete the entire operation on time, the plant also decided to perform the necessary maintenance on its power lines at the same time as the rest of its systems. This meant that our solution also had to be fully self-sufficient as well as portable and weather-proof, to be able to service the plant’s numerous components spread over a significant surface area.
With all these constraints in mind, the project represented yet another opportunity for us to demonstrate the industry-leading performance of our diesel-powered PTS 1600 oil-free compressors.
The package designed by our local team comprised 2 PTS 1600 units in tandem with 2 adsorption dryers (the PHS 1600 and CD 760), 2 after-coolers and 1 cooling tower.
The solution well and truly met the customer’s strict requirements in terms of flow rate, air purity, dew point and dryness.
One satisfied customer
This was the first project we had the pleasure of delivering for this particular customer. And it took multiple presentations and technical meetings and all of our Rental Sales engineer Hyway Zhang’s skill, knowhow and perseverance to secure the business:
The customer was extremely satisfied with the performance of the two compressors and the seamless commissioning of their systems following maintenance. They were especially pleased that we could help them reduce maintenance time with around 7 to 10 days. So much so, in fact, that future collaborations are already in the pipeline!
This successful project is just one of many that have contributed to Atlas Copco Rental’s strong and long-standing reputation in China’s downstream processing industry.