Petrochemical & Nuclear Case Studies

  • Lucite International


    A global leader in the design, development and manufacture of acrylic-based products, Lucite International demands the highest industry standard equipment. Due to the 2015 phase out of R22 systems, the company needed to replace its old R22 plant at Cassel Works, their largest European site, with a more eco-friendly option.

    Working closely with Lucite, Star’s engineers developed a cost effective, bespoke industrial refrigeration system to replace the aging system. As well as complying with new R22 phase out regulations, Lucite requested increased plant reliability, equipment longevity and a plan that allowed the new cooling system to be designed, constructed and commissioned while the existing plant was still operational to avoid any loss of productivity.

    Graham Wallace, Lucite’s Project Manager, said, “Lucite wanted to replace the R22 chiller and increase capacity. Star delivered an energy efficient system that ensures plant reliability and future proofs the business to meet our environmental and legislation needs over the next 25 years.”

    “Other challenges including space restrictions on site were met by laying out the packages and carring out all inter-piping at their factory in order to replicate the site footprint. This gave us the confidence that the site installation would prove successful.”

    “Finally, all match-marked parts were shipped separately and final connections were made once the packages were positioned on site.”

    Alan Walkinshaw, Star’s Sales Manager – Process Industries, said, “Installing the new system without jeopardising the functionality of the old one did have its difficulties. However, the team is always up for a challenge and as usual, innovation and perseverance finally paid off and we came up with an effective solution.

    The major upgrade consisted of the installation of a 3.9MW – 10oC Glycol chilling system, running on environmentally friendly future-proof refrigerant ammonia (NH3). The entire system comprised of 3 off packages and 2 off screw compressor packages, each Leeds teams  with 600KV 3.3 drive motors. Star also installed an innovative outdoor heat exchanger package equipped with water-cooled ST condenser, economiser and PSHE evaporator/separator.

    Post project completion, the company stands to profit from three major benefits:

    • The new system has significantly increased plant capacity, which will allow for greater productivity of present and future process needs. 

    • Ammonia is a climate-friendly refrigerant with zero GWP and zero Ozone Depleting Potential, hence extending the longevity of the plant and boosting Lucite’s eco-credentials.

    •The installation of multiple compressors will allow Lucite to process varying loads. This will enhance plant reliability as well as increase operational efficiency.

    The new system has significantly increased plant capacity, which will allow for greater productivity of present and future process needs. 

    Lucite International now enjoys complete control over the refrigeration plant using Star’s next generation control system “TELSTAR”, as well as a condition system for vibration monitoring.

    When it comes to designing energy efficient cooling and heating systems, Star is a natural innovator.  Star works with strategic partners across the globe to deliver low carbon, cost saving solutions.

     


  • Sabic UK Petrochemicals


    As Europe’s leading producer of petrochemicals, SABIC UK demands the highest quality equipment on the market. This ensures that the product is of exceptional quality, as well as enforcing the safety of staff and site visitors. 

    The RBS Butadiene Plant in Wilton is one of SABIC’s 13 world class petrochemical production sites. The company’s existing refrigeration plant is 35 years old and in order to replace and bring it into line with the R22 phase out, which came into force last month – January 2015 – SABIC recruited Star Refrigeration.

    After preliminary consultancy work with STS, a plan was developed to install a bespoke system which completely replaced the existing R22 plant. However, when the total project costs were evaluated, a fully bespoke scheme proved expensive. Star Refrigeration embarked on a mission to produce a lower cost solution using modular package design chillers to meet the process cooling requirements. SABIC trusted Star to keep costs to a minimum and ensure a smooth transition to efficient and low carbon refrigeration systems.

    Jon Hetherington, SABIC Project Group Manager said, “After reviewing the initial total replacement plan, we decided that the costs were simply too high. We started to look for alternative solutions and Star’s modular package project looked attractive. As well as using premium quality equipment, the company enjoys a strong industry reputation which gave us confidence that we were working with one of the most reliable suppliers in the business.”

    As part of the upgrade, Star installed 3 off 193KW ammonia Azanechillers to cool 40% w/w ethylene glycol from –9oC to –14oC. The air-cooled Azanechillers are configured to operate in series for maximum efficiency, actively cooling the glycol supplied to the butadiene process heat exchangers.

    For SABIC, this innovative approach represented a range of benefits. One of the major benefits was the significantly lower cost compared to initial quotes for a fully customised system. The new modular design of the Azanechiller offers improved efficiency and reliability, while the first rate equipment immediately boosts the longevity of the plant, as does the low change ammonia technology employed.

    The use of natural refrigerant ammonia has also future proofed the Wilton RBS Butadiene Plant and brought it into line with governmental law. The conscientious decision of using natural refrigerants cements the company’s status as a responsible manufacturer of “the chemistry that makes things possible.”

    While this particular project was unique, it wasn’t the first time that Star has worked with SABIC. The leading industrial refrigeration and heating supplier has previously supplied a propylene refrigeration system for the SABIC Ethylene Liquefaction Plant at North Tees. The project was a great success, which gave SABIC reassurance that they were enlisting the help of a tried and tested company. 

    Star is currently offering SABIC a three year maintenance contract, which will ensure that the new modular design Azanechiller system continues to perform at its best. 

    In the future, Star hopes to continue to work with SABIC UK Petrochemicals and help the company to maintain its status as Europe’s leading polyethylene and polypropylene business.


  • BP Chemicals


    The BP facility at Grangemouth is one of the UK's most significant petrochemical sites producing around two million tonnes of products annually. BP’s need was for an industrial process refrigeration package to maintain temperatures within the butadiene circuit especially during higher ambient conditions.

    BP required the refrigeration package to be free standing in a remote Zone 2 IIB T3 hazardous area location on the site where no cooling water was available and had to be designed to meet the process intermittent loads and use an environmentally friendly hydrocarbon refrigerant. Star Refrigeration were awarded the contract to supply this specialised refrigeration system.

    In order to meet BP’s requirements for the package located close to the hazardous area butadiene spheres, Star offered a customised modular air-cooled package designed for operating with another hydrocarbon, propane (R290) refrigerant.

    The customised package was designed to cool 14,000 kg/hour of butadiene fluid from +28°C down to +18°C, equivalent to a refrigeration capacity of 89.5Kw when operating with a maximum ambient design dry bulb condition of +29.5°C.

    The control panel included an Allen Bradley SLC500 PLC provided to control all operating and safety functions of the plant. Hard-wired Zone 2 safety cut-outs/controls were also provided as a site safety requirement.

    Star Refrigeration is the UK’s largest independent industrial refrigeration engineering company. Star focuses on the design, manufacture, installation, commissioning and maintenance of industrial refrigeration systems. The company offers a turnkey package to all users of refrigeration plant.

    Star's technical advisory arm, Star Technical Solutions (STS), operates as an independent consultancy, providing advice on refrigeration engineering issues. Star also owns food freezing and chilling equipment specialist Starfrost, as well as mechanical and electrical contractors Penec.


  • Huntsman Petrochemical


    Huntsman European Petrochemicals is a major manufacturer of bulk commodity chemicals, and produce around three million tonnes of petrochemicals a year from their well-established manufacturing plants based in Teesside in the North East of England.

    Huntsman had a requirement to increase their ethylene liquefaction throughput to meet market demands and so had a need for increased refrigeration capacity. They wanted a customised refrigeration plant to serve an ethylene heat exchanger, using propylene (R1270) as the refrigerant.

    Star Refrigeration designed the plant to cool high pressure ethylene before shipment. The ethylene is cooled using propylene refrigerant on the shell side of the HP ethylene heat exchanger. The propylene refrigeration system was rated to provide approximately 2000kW of capacity when working with a design ambient wet bulb of +19°C.

    The refrigeration system included an API 619 compliant screw compressor package with lube system and 3.3Kv high voltage EEx”N” drive motor, evaporative condensers, a propylene liquid receiver and a refrigerant economiser connected to the HP ethylene chiller heat exchanger and ethylene knock-out vessel.

    Star Refrigeration worked closely with the Huntsman and FWEL project team to produce a "project specific" refrigeration plant designed for continuous operation and reliability. There were certain specific project requirements requested by the team, including:

    •Plant operational reliability (24/7)
    •Designed to PED requirements
    •All vessels/pipe work in LT50 carbon steel
    •Compressor secondary ”dry gas seal” for added protection and notification of shaft seal wear
    •Automatic oil recovery
    •Vibration monitoring system
    •Use site specified instrumentation
    •Project specific documentation

    Star Refrigeration is the UK’s largest independent industrial refrigeration engineering company. Star focuses on the design, manufacture, installation, commissioning and maintenance of industrial refrigeration systems. The company offers a turnkey package to all users of refrigeration plant.

    Star's technical advisory arm, Star Technical Solutions (STS), operates as an independent consultancy providing advice on refrigeration engineering issues. Star also owns food freezing and chilling equipment specialist Starfrost, as well as mechanical and electrical contractors Penec.


  • Huntsman Pigments & Additives


    Since 1970, Huntsman has been a global leader in the manufacturing and marketing of differentiated chemicals. Huntsman is a leading supplier of Titanium Dioxide pigment, which is used to add brightness, whiteness and opacity to thousands of consumer products manufactured across the globe.

    The refrigeration plant at Huntsman Pigments and Additives’ factory at Greatham, UK needed updating due to the phase out of R22. Star Refrigeration first looked at the replacement project in 2010. After proposing an innovative, cost-effective solution that worked with the R22 phase out deadline, Huntsman appointed Star to deliver the replacement.

    David Laws, Star’s Sales Manager – Process Industries, said: “We have been working closely with the Huntsman engineering team for a number of years prior to this replacement project and offered a number of alternative schemes before the direct system was accepted.”

    Star carried out a GAP analysis of the project specifications pre-contract to ensure Huntsman’s requirements were satisfied. The process heat exchanger design was paramount to ensure that it matched the site installation configuration and the ammonia refrigeration packages were mounted with an explosion proof plant room.

    Star proposed a cost effective project plan with the lowest life cycle costs. This involved the use of a zero carbon ammonia system located inside a purpose built plant room.

    All equipment is suitable for Hazardous Area Zone 2 11A T1 regulations to meet Huntsman site safety and compliance standards. Star also allowed for easy integration of the entire refrigeration plant with their existing site control system.

    One of the key features of the state-of-the-art direct refrigeration system was the high integrity construction of the process heat exchangers and materials used to prevent any cross contamination between the ammonia and process gas. The premium quality equipment also increases plant reliability, longevity and minimises the need for ongoing maintenance and repairs, as all components are built to industrial quality standards.

    Star’s approach to the project and the efficiency with which works were carried out during the whole process, from the specification stage, to design, manufacture, installation and commissioning, was praised, notably as the final phase was undertaken with minimal disruption to Huntsman’s usual business operations.

    Star rose to the challenge and came up with an innovative solution that complies with regulations, reduces carbon footprint, boosts plant efficiency and ultimately increases business’s bottom line.

    Over the past few years, the leading industrial refrigeration company has been helping world-class organisations and small businesses across the nation prepare for the phase out. This extensive experience made Star a trustworthy ally for any business on the lookout for a reliable R22 phase out supplier.

    This was not the first project that Star had executed for Huntsman Pigments and Additives in Teesside, with the company previously installing an NH3 refrigeration/chilling system in 2002. This indirect system used brine cooled by an ammonia refrigeration plant. The brine was then circulated to cool the product.

    Star has also been providing Huntsman with onsite maintenance since 2001.


  • Huntsman Tioxide


    The Huntsman Corporation is one of the world’s largest privately owned American companies with interests in petrochemicals, chemicals, aromatics and polyurethanes. Part of the Huntsman organisation is the Tioxide division, producing titanium dioxide pigments used primarily in the production of paints and plastics. Titanium dioxide is the most commonly used pigment in the world, giving end products their brilliant whiteness, opacity and protection. Huntsman Tioxide have manufacturing plants operating throughout the world and, in particular, UK plants in Teesside and Grimsby.

    Star supplied a custom-built refrigeration package as part of Tioxide’s £50m extension to the production plant at the Greatham site in Teesside. Known as the “ICON 2 Project” the plant extension is to increase production of titanium dioxide to 100,000 tonnes/year at the Greatham site.

    Huntsman Tioxide's requirements were simple - they required an environmentally friendly, energy efficient and reliable refrigeration plant designed to be operated continuously to meet the demands of their chemical production facility.

    The refrigeration plant is used to serve their titanium dioxide spiral heat exchanger cooling requirements using a calcium chloride brine solution down to -23°C. The refrigeration plant utilises ammonia as the natural choice of refrigerant, and is designed to provide 332kW refrigeration capacity to allow for system hydraulic gains when operating at the design conditions, with cooling water available at 30°C.

    The package was split into two sections with the compressor and condenser section located within a plant room while the evaporator package is located on the plant room roof section, local to the process heat exchangers and pipe work. The complete system is suitable for operation within a hazardous zone 2 IIB T3 area.

    The compressor package consists of an ammonia refrigeration screw compressor package with lube system and oil cooler, a 200kW high voltage TEFC IP55 2 pole EEx “N” motor suitable for 3.3KV, water-cooled shell and tube condenser and liquid receiver with all pre-piped with unit wiring terminating at package junction boxes.

    Star also provided the plant room ventilation and ammonia gas detection system to EN 378 September 2000 (Refrigerating Systems & Heat Pumps Safety & Environmental requirements).

    A remote mounted Siemens TI 545 PLC was provided to control all operating and safety functions of the plant. Hard-wired Zone 2 safety cut-outs/controls were also provided as a site safety requirement.

    Interconnecting brine and ammonia pipework was site installed after the packages were positioned.

    Star Refrigeration worked closely with the Huntsman Tioxide and FWEL Project team to produce a “project specific” refrigeration plant designed for continuous operation and reliability. There were certain specific project requirements required by the team, including:

    •Plant operational reliability (24/7)
    •Dual oil pumps with automatic changeover
    •Dual oil filters
    •High corrosion allowance on evaporator (3mm)
    •Designed to PED requirements
    •All vessels/pipework in LT50 carbon steel
    •Flange connections to allow easy removal of evaporator from separator on package
    •In-built standby components

    •Capital spares including a spare bare shaft compressor, evaporator, motor and condenser
    •Ammonia gas detection/ventilation requirement to the plant room
    •Automatic oil recovery
    •First year maintenance included
    •Use site specified instrumentation
    •Hazop study attendance

    With the packages built in a modular construction to meet site dimensional constraints, the site installation costs were kept to a minimum.

    The packages were delivered on time as any delay beyond the agreed date would have prevented site services from completing the installation in and around the plant room. The site program was another important factor and one of the reasons why Star was chosen for this key project.

    Star Refrigeration is the UK’s largest independent industrial refrigeration engineering company. Star focuses on the design, manufacture, installation, commissioning and maintenance of industrial refrigeration systems. The company offers a turnkey package to all users of refrigeration plant.

    Star's technical advisory arm, Star Technical Solutions (STS), operates as an independent consultancy providing advice on refrigeration engineering issues. Star also owns food freezing and chilling equipment specialist Starfrost, as well as mechanical and electrical contractors Penec.