January 11, 2018
When petrochemical company SIBUR-Neftekhim faced a major turnaround of a compressed air installation, Atlas Copco Rental jumped in with a solution that kept SIBUR’s production up and running. A successful project, which SIBUR now considers as the “best practice” when it comes to production efficiency.
SIBUR is Russia’s largest gas processing and petrochemical company, producing plastics, rubbers and polymers. One of SIBUR’s branches, SIBUR-Neftekhim, conducted a turnaround in its department producing ethylene and glycols oxide, vital for the production of polymers.
During the catalyst reset, SIBUR required dry, oil-free compressed air for the bead-blasting treatment of the ethylene oxide synthesis reactors. Atlas Copco Rental proposed an installation of two oil-free, electric-driven compressors (type PTE 1500) and two desiccant air dryers (CD 47 and CD 780) to handle the job.
Before the catalyst in the four reactors could be replaced, SIBUR needed to clean the internal surface and adjunct pipelines, which come into contact with reaction gas. The chosen method, bead-blasting, required dry compressed air at a flow of 8 kg/cm². In the past, SIBUR relied on air from their own air separation unit. During the project, however, this unit was also undergoing maintenance and couldn’t supply compressed air for 24 hours. SIBUR had no time to lose, so a rented air installation was the best solution.
The real challenge for SIBUR was that the catalyst should have been reset simultaneously in the four reactors, while previously the catalyst was reset in two stages. The factory simply didn’t have the sufficient capacity to simultaneously bead-blast all four reactors at the same time. The only efficient way to keep all the production up and running, was to rent portable oil-free compressors and dryers from Atlas Copco Rental. The whole rental installation was adapted to match the facilities the factory had available, and allowed for a “plug-and-play” set-up once the equipment arrived on-site.
Thanks to the oil-free installation, the bead-blasting work was carried out smoothly, without the need to cut off the air supply in another part of the factory. It was the first time ever SIBUR used this kind of set-up, but the company already called it the “best practice” in terms of production efficiency.