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Rapid installment avoids massive loss at a petrochemical plant

Temporary cooling solution avoids massive loss

Client: Large Petrochemical Plant

Location: Gulf Coast, USA

Sectors: Petrochemical and refining

The Challenge

Reduced ethylene throughput

The first and most important process unit in petrochemical processing is ethylene. It is the starting point for the vast majority of other petrochemical processes that derive their feedstocks from ethylene. If this unit is forced to reduce its throughput due to an equipment-related issue it could spell economic disaster for a plant. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened to a Gulf Coast petrochemical processor’s primary facility.

It experienced a collapse in the cooling tower that supported the ethylene unit which compromised the structural integrity of the equipment. Worse yet, it was estimated that it would take one month to repair the two damaged cells. The affected facility would need to reduce the feedstock to its downstream units by 20-40% to compensate for the lost cooling capacity. The economic impact of the cooling tower failure was estimated at $5,000,000 per day.

Key Facts

cooling tower capacity 60,000 tonnes
per day loss avoided $5 M
Rapid installment avoids massive loss at a petrochemical plant

The Solution

A turn-key system designed to get things moving

Aggreko Cooling Tower Services (ACTS) team arrived onsite to assess the damage and review all technical details in order to provide proper project management that would work seamlessly with the plant’s managers. Aggreko shipped 60,000 tons of cooling tower capacity, over nine miles of cable, six 1.3 MW natural gas generators, three 1500 kW diesel backup generators, and associated electrical distribution and diesel tanks. Within six days of the go-ahead, Aggreko had all 12.3 MW of power on line and 30,000 tons of cooling tower capacity up and running. Although 60,000 tons of cooling capacity were shipped, only 30,000 tons were installed due to engineering calculations ensuring a lower amount would be enough. Aggreko kept the spare cooling capacity onsite and available if needed.


The Impact

A replaced cooling capacity

Aggreko replaced the damaged cooling capacity within six days from project approval – possible averting a $5,000,000 per day loss until the two damaged cooling tower cells could be repaired.


Rapid installment avoids massive loss at a petrochemical plant