Client Midwestern refinery

Location USA

Sectors Petrochemical and refining

The challenge

Thaw a frozen butane line without damaging it

A large Midwestern refinery opened a valve to move butane from the sphere to a gasoline blending area, only to find the valve had been damaged by 10 inches of solid ice further upstream. 

Waiting for the spring thaw would lead to major operational failures and financial problems. What they needed was a powerful blower, but also a delicate touch: too much direct heat would cause rapid metal expansion and long term damage.


Project fact file

10 inches

Depth of frozen ice

100 °F

Blower temperature

24 hours

Monitoring service

The solution

A powerful blower and 24/7 remote monitoring

Our team of engineers immediately began designing an action plan. Within three days, the team had met with the onsite management team, presented their proposed ideas, worked with management to alleviate any permit and certification issues, and delivered equipment to be installed.

We provided generators, heaters and an 8,000 cubic feet per minute blower. The heater was dialed down from 300°F to 100°F to avoid rapid metal expansion. The whole system was supported by our remote monitoring service, which monitored the equipment 24 hours a day.


the aggreko difference

We have the people, skills and equipment, whatever the scenario.

The impact

A safe solution and a second installation

The heater thawed the ice safely and quickly, allowing butane to flow to the gasoline blending area. In fact, the solution was so successful the customer asked us to do the same for their other frozen equipment. The same issue was occurring in multiple locations – a situation with the potential to cause major operational and financial problems. In response, we set up a second installation on the same day.


“It was satisfying to solve our customer’s unusual problem so quickly, and for it to be so successful that they asked for a second installation.”

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