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Supporting a need for clean air — with an eye toward regulation compliance

December 5, 2019

When a major corporation’s oil-processing facility in Southern California needed oil-free air for a nitrogen generator — and the compressor solution had to both meet operational demands and comply with strict air-quality regulations — Atlas Copco Rental had a reliable electric model at the ready that checked all the boxes.

Situated on the Pacific coastline about 15 miles west of Santa Barbara, California, the corporation’s petroleum refinery in Goleta, California, is tasked with separating water from the oil it receives via pipeline from a nearby offshore oil facility. When a 2017 oil spill at the offshore platform forced the pipeline to be shut down, the on-shore facility needed a steady supply of nitrogen for inerting its on-site fuel-storage tanks.


While the facility had a nitrogen generator available on the job site, it required oil-free air pressurized at 150psi for the nitrogen-separation process. And with strict laws governing air quality in the area, a diesel-powered compressor was not an option. Further complicating the facility’s needs, strict regulations prevented outside technicians from being allowed to work on-site unless special certifications requiring major time investments were obtained.


Enter the Atlas Copco PTSE 1050 100% oil-free screw compressor, which we had on hand and ready to deliver. With an electric drive that produces minimal emissions and provides ISO 8573-1 Class 0 certified oil-free air, this unit fits the need perfectly. And because we have a large fleet of rental units to pull from, the compressor can be easily switched out with a replacement unit at any time so that any maintenance can be performed off-site and with no downtime — which also allows for circumventing the refinery’s problematic restrictions on outside technicians.


Since they could not use diesel and wanted oil-free air at 150psi, the PTSE 1050 was the best electric available, since it unloads at 149psi and loads at 143psi,” said Rich West, Area Sales Manager at Atlas Copco Rental’s Santa Ana, California, branch. “In fact, I believe the PTSE 1050 is the highest pressure electric available on the market at over 1,000cfm. The client has been very pleased with the service and reliability of the equipment.


With the PTSE 1050 on-site and in use at the facility, the refinery has been able to cost-effectively generate the nitrogen needed to inert its storage tanks and prepare for the recertification needed to reopen after the pipeline shutdown. When a critical need for temporary compressed air arose, we had the solutions at the ready, and were able to deliver the needed compressor technology — the PTSE 1050 100% oil-free screw compressor — right away.


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At Atlas Copco, we have been turning industrial ideas into business-critical benefits since 1873. By listening to our customers and knowing their needs, we deliver value and innovate with the future in mind. Great ideas reinforce sustainable development. At Atlas Copco Specialty Rental, we team up with our customers to set up state-of-the-art temporary air, flow, steam and nitrogen solutions. Our passionate experts have extensive application and equipment knowledge. We understand our customers' needs and can provide a total solution for any industry, no matter if it is for emergencies or planned projects. We are a division of the Power Technique business area, headquartered in Boom, Belgium and offer specialty rental solutions under several brands around the globe.