Renewal of cooling water blow down system at petrochemical complex in South America

The thermal production processes in petrochemical plants generate huge amounts of waste heat. Consequently it is mandatory for these plants to have a continuously secure operating cooling water system.

Refineries and chemical plants produce waste heat which is generally transferred via a cooling water system and cooling towers to the atmosphere. State of the art petroleum refineries with a crude processing capacity of about 40,000 metric tons per day have a required flow rate of cooling water of approximately 80,000 l/h.
The main challenges in operating such huge cooling water systems are to avoid corrosion, microbiological growth and formation of deposits in the pipes at same time.

Thermal production processes in petrochemical plants
Thermal production processes in petrochemical plants

Project Background:

The existing cooling water carbon steel piping system in a South American refinery was facing severe corrosion problems leading frequently to operational problems with the cooling of the whole plant. Due to that fact in 2013 it was decided to solve this issue with a thermoplastic pipe system. 

Chosen technical solution:

The solution for the refinery was to switch from carbon steel to an HDPE pipe system. GF Piping Systems South America provided the complete scope of HDPE-piping products which consisted of standard ecoFIT butt fusion and ELGEF electrofusion fittings. In order to set up the most economical solution for the customer the HDPE 100 pipes have been sourced locally so that consequently transportation costs could be reduced considerably. The clients’ main advantage of this solution was to have high quality GF fusion fittings combined with a smart and economic pipe sourcing concept.

Main benefits of our solution for the customer:

  • corrosion proof HDPE pipe system for indoor and outdoor installation
  • proven GFPS HDPE butt fusion jointing technology guaranteeing industrial standards
  • intelligent combination of local sourced products and Swiss made high quality PE100 fittings

System- and product selection:

  • HDPE ecoFIT butt fusion fittings d63-d355
  • HDPE ELGEF electrofusion fusion fittings d63-d355