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Lube oil cooling for a refinery in India

Client: Large refinery in India

Location: North of India

Sectors: Petrochemical and refining


Cooling lube oil amidst high ambient heat

With scorching summer temperatures in India soaring to 44°C, a critical challenge arose for our client: keeping lube oil temperatures within the safe 36-38°C range.

This lube oil is important to the facility as it is used to prevent leakages. However, the client’s existing cooling infrastructure couldn’t effectively cool the lube oil to the safe range of 36-38°C but instead remained around temperatures of 40°C.

These higher temperatures bring a higher chance of leakages, jeopardising production.

In order to cool the lube oil, they first needed to cool the existing cooling tower water from 34°C down to 20°C. This would in turn help cool the lube oil back down to the desired temperature range.

It was essential and urgent for the client to cool the lube oil, due to the risks of potential downtime and subsequent financial losses.

Fact File

Peak summer temperatures in north India 44°C
Safe temperature range for lube oil 36-38 °C
Temperature reduction for chiller 14°C


Our cooling system beat the heat in India

In April 2023, the project was set in motion, with our team – including a temperature control (TC) specialist, TC engineers, and 4-6 operations team members – arriving to save the day. The operations team was available on site 24/7 to ensure the project went without a hitch.

As a large-scale project, our engineering team promptly got to work designing water cooling systems. We also shared single line diagrams (SLDs) with the client to ensure every detail was correct before the project was fully underway.

We then provided a turnkey cooling solution to lower the cooling water temperature from 34°C to 20°C, which then helped to cool the lube oil and bring its temperature down to 36-38°C.

Our cooling solution included two FC400 air-cooled chillers, a 2500A Junction Box, two heat exchangers, as well as a buffer tank, pumps, and all the necessary power and earthing cables.


Effective cooling solution to avoid downtime

By providing a cooling system with a temperature of 20°C, we managed to maintain the lube oil’s temperature within the safe range of 36 to 38°C.

These cooler Lube Oil temperatures resulted in three enormous benefits for the client.

  1. The cooler lube oil greatly reduced the chances of leakages.
  2. We helped the customer save money on lube oil consumption. As more lube oil is consumed at high temperatures, cooling the lube oil meant consumption was optimised to save costs.
  3. The customer was able to maximise their production, avoiding tripping that could have caused a 8-10 hour delay for the gas compressor. With production running at full capacity, the customer was able to avoid downtime, additional equipment maintenance, and loss of production.