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Bypass exchangers, not profits

Bypass exchangers, not profits

Client: Hydrocracking Unit at Gulf Coast Refinery

Location: Louisiana, US

Sectors: Petrochemical and refining

The Challenge

Restoring fuel rates during equipment outage

Jet fuel and ultra-low-sulfur diesel (ULSD) are produced in a refinery hydrocracker. ULSD and jet fuel are experiencing peak demand because of current market shortages and the effects of the pandemic. Failure to offset any disruption in production would impact revenues dramatically – at a time when demand has never been higher. Aggreko responded rapidly to the challenge when a condenser on a hydrocracker fractionator was taken out of service for maintenance. The refinery was facing a costly decision of downgrading jet fuel and ULSD.


Key Facts

Revenue losses avoided $7-10 MM
Per day losses while main exchangers were out of service $250 k
Per day gains from baseline due to increased cooling capacity $12-15 k
Bypass exchangers, not profits

The Solution

Rapid delivery and install of heat exchanger and cooling tower

The refinery initially believed a production loss was inevitable, since cooling water volume was not only limited, but summertime temperatures of the cooling water would significantly hinder performance. Clearly, a temporary exchanger would also require supplemental cooling via a chiller or cooling tower. However, this additional equipment would require timely process safety reviews during the Management of Change (MOC) and Pre-Startup Safety Review (PSSR) processes. Aggreko enjoys an ongoing partnership and developed a comprehensive engineered solution. We installed a customized, package in 11 days and participated in the MOC and PSSR. The final package consisted of a heat exchanger, pumps, piping, and a cooling tower that was rated for a Class 1, Div. 2, Group C&D electrically classified area.

The Impact

Commercial fuel demand met at its peak

The installation helped the refinery avoid losses of $250k per day. Without Aggreko’s intervention, the reduced throughput would have lasted over a month and would have negatively impacted revenue and production valued at $7-10MM dollars. Not only is the refinery now operating at capacity, but the supplemental cooling package is yielding an incremental gain of approximately $15k per day. Aggreko was a valued resource for our partner and allowed the plant to capture a window of opportunity that otherwise would not have been realized.

Bypass exchangers, not profits