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Client Large Gulf Coast refinery

Location Gulf Coast, USA

Sectors Petrochemical and refining

The challenge

Keeping production and profits up

When you’re running a refinery, a turnaround is often a major setback for schedules and profitability. If one unit has to shut down, it can create a domino effect with the rest of the supporting equipment – which in turn affects delivery. When a large Gulf Coast refinery came up against this exact problem with their crude unit, they asked us to step in and find a way to keep the vacuum tower (VDU) and other downstream units up and running so they could still meet their targets. Our Aggreko Process Services (APS) team have a huge amount of experience in just this kind of issue. So they got to work.

Project fact file

$14,000,000

Profit boost for the refinery

200 ºF

The heat we added to the hydrocarbon feed

The solution

A specially-designed system that kept things moving

With only a few months until turnaround, we had to move fast. We brought in three refinery-grade, U-tube heat exchangers that kept residual material at the right temperature, and production up and running. We also installed a steam condensate drum and high-pressure pump. The system heated the hydrocarbon feed on the shell side from 110ºF to 310ºF, using low-pressure steam on the tube side.

the aggreko difference

Understanding what you need, to get the results you want.

The impact

A boost to the business 

The system we installed kept the vacuum unit going, as well as the units downstream of the vacuum tower. As a result, not only did our client meet deadlines without a hitch, they also saw a boost in profit when most refineries would expect the opposite during a turnaround. In total, the system brought in $14,000,000 of extra profit, as well as saving water – thanks to our condensate equipment.

“Turnarounds can have a huge effect on business. It’s something we’re used to handling and we were delighted to see such a great result here.”

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