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Maximum performance with minimum downtime for Chinese chemicals plant

February 17, 2020

How do you purge and dry a 660,000 ton/year propane dehydrogenation unit and 400,000 ton/year polypropylene unit without electricity? That was just one of the challenges put to Atlas Copco Rental by its customer, a downstream chemicals plant as part of a large-scale maintenance operation. The other? Speed!

Fortunately, we are well accustomed to working against the clock and under challenging conditions. And when you put superior technology and the unwavering dedication of our local team together, anything is possible.

Against the clock

“Time” is and always has been “money”, no matter what industry you’re in. But in today’s extremely competitive downstream chemical processing sector, the old adage seems to be doubly true.


So when planning a maintenance operation of this magnitude, finding a fast, efficient and reliable solution was a top priority. But drying and purging the plant’s enormous production units on schedule meant being able to deliver an extremely high flow of oil-free air of 80m3/min.


Dryer than dry

In addition to the high output requirements, the resulting air flow also had to be extremely dry to avoid compromising the propane dehydrogenation unit’s distillation system during maintenance. To put it in perspective, the moisture limit of 1 part per million (with dew point of maximum -80°C) is around 5000 times dryer than the air above the Sahara Desert!


On the move


To complete the entire operation on time, the plant also decided to perform the necessary maintenance on its power lines at the same time as the rest of its systems. This meant that our solution also had to be fully self-sufficient as well as portable and weather-proof, to be able to service the plant’s numerous components spread over a significant surface area.


Cutting-edge technology

With all these constraints in mind, the project represented yet another opportunity for us to demonstrate the industry-leading performance of our diesel-powered PTS 1600 oil-free compressors.

The package designed by our local team comprised 2 PTS 1600 units in tandem with 2 adsorption dryers (the PHS 1600 and CD 760), 2 after-coolers and 1 cooling tower.

The solution well and truly met the customer’s strict requirements in terms of flow rate, air purity, dew point and dryness.

One satisfied customer

This was the first project we had the pleasure of delivering for this particular customer. And it took multiple presentations and technical meetings and all of our Rental Sales engineer Hyway Zhang’s skill, knowhow and perseverance to secure the business:

The customer was extremely satisfied with the performance of the two compressors and the seamless commissioning of their systems following maintenance. They were especially pleased that we could help them reduce maintenance time with around 7 to 10 days. So much so, in fact, that future collaborations are already in the pipeline!

Hyway Zhang , Sales Engineer

This successful project is just one of many that have contributed to Atlas Copco Rental’s strong and long-standing reputation in China’s downstream processing industry.

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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.