Atlas Copco Rental widens its horizon at the port of Antwerp

When BASF, a world leader in chemi­cals, decided to raise the bar and look beyond their satisfactory rental partner, Atlas Copco Rental emerged as a clear winner.

12 dec 2013

BASF is located at the port of Antwerp – a location with several records to its credit. The port houses the biggest, most diversified petrochemical center in Europe; 7 out of 10 of the world’s biggest chemical companies have production sites at this location. Thanks to the Antwerp Integrated Model, the port is also unparalleled in the area of integration. The model comprises a cluster, the base of which is made up of five refineries with a primary distillation capacity of over 40 million tons. Four crackers then further refine the naphta into petrochemicals such as ethylene and propylene. These base products are further refined within the cluster. Three of the crackers are on the Fina Antwerp Olefines site, and the fourth, on the BASF site.

Turning a challenge into an opportunity During the cracking process, cokes get deposited on the internal wall of the reactors. This layer has many unfavorable effects, such as inefficient transfer of heat leading to higher power consumption, reduced lifespan of pipes, higher pressure losses due to suboptimal product distribution, and an increase in temperature after cooling. BASF had partnered with Atlas Copco Rental for many years, for the removal of coke deposits. Atlas Copco Rental Europe has been efficiently carrying out this process once every 7 years and whenever there was an unexpected breakdown.

The Atlas Copco Rental advantage In keeping with the company’s usual practice, the office first meticulously planned every step of the project. It then assigned a dedicated team to the task, which would coordinate with a dedicated BASF team. A pro-active meeting was held where there was a detailed run-through of risk analyses and procedures such as installation, logistics and fuel management.

Equipment that could deliver 16 452 m³/h at 20°C/50% humidity at sea level was then installed. The set-up included 7 x PTS916 compressors (including one standby), 7 x 2 900 liter fuel tanks, 3-inch air hoses, 6-inch air hoses, an air collector and an emergency stop cabinet. Other highlights of the team’s plan included:

  • A log of every action
  • 24/7 Presence of operators, who used walkie-talkies to communicate directly with the control room
  • Small interventions by operators; bigger problems were escalated to the technician on call
  • Safety measures like weekly toolbox meetings, safety tours, last-minute risk analyses, fire extinguishers, yellow or black tape around zone and self-extinguishing bins
  • A presentation to BASF employees to inform them of the processes

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Atlas Copco is a world-leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions. The Group serves customers with innovative compressors, vacuum solutions and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. Atlas Copco develops products and service focused on productivity, energy efficiency, safety and ergonomics. The company was founded in 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 180 countries. In 2015, Atlas Copco had revenues of BSEK 102 (BEUR 11) and more than 43 000 employees.

Specialty Rental is a division within Atlas Copco’s Construction Technique business area. It serves customers in the industry segments around the world with temporary air, nitrogen, steam and power rental solutions. The specialty rental services are offered under several brands. The divisional headquarters is located in Houston, USA.