Client Oil Refinery

Location United Kingdom

Sectors Petrochemical and refining


Boost cooling to improve vacuum and optimise distillation process

A large UK oil refinery had a problem with its vacuum in the Vacuum Distillation Unit (VDU) due to insufficient cooling of the overhead condensers and steam ejectors. This meant the VDU was producing products of lower quality and quantity. The problem stemmed from the site’s main cooling tower and chiller plant that couldn’t produce enough cooling capacity during high summer temperatures.

Aggreko needed to boost the flow of cooling water to the overhead condensers and steam ejectors and lower the temperature of the cooling water to increase the level of condensation.

Project fact file

5 MW

Additional cooling

720 m3

High volume pumps

2 MW

Power generation


Better cool water flow and power 

Aggreko Process Services (APS) specialists designed a bespoke supplementary cooling package to support the refinery’s existing plant so it could optimise its product and maintain its schedules.

The package included high volume pumps to boost the flow of water to the VDU overheads so they’d work more efficiently. We also installed flow meters to accurately monitor the flow of water and understand the impact on process. Chillers provided an extra 5 MW of cooling to lower the temperature of the process cooling water during the warmer summer months.

Our generators also provided extra power for the equipment as the site’s high voltage power source was too far away to link to safely and cost effectively.


the aggreko difference

Unique Process Engineering Expertise working alongside unit operations


Cooling that helped improve process

The refinery was able to clear the bottlenecks in its process caused by fluctuating temperatures during the year. That meant improved quality products, in quantities that helped the refinery keep to its production schedules.

"Our APS team were able to find a cost-effective way to boost the cooling needed at this refinery during the warmer summer months."

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