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


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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