Star Refrigeration helps Huntsman keep products snow-white

  • Huntsman Ammonia Plant

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David Laws

Sales Manager Process Industries

Star Refrigeration, the cooling company renowned for environmentally friendly innovations in the field of industrial refrigeration, lent their chilly powers to Huntsman when they recently carried out a major overhaul at the company's Pigments and Additives factory in Greatham to ensure a fairytale ending.

Star Refrigeration installed an energy efficient ammonia refrigeration plant to bring the leading chemical supplier up to date with stringent environmental legislation guidelines. The new zero carbon ammonia refrigeration plant is expected to future-proof the business for the next two decades. 

Huntsman has been at the forefront of the manufacturing of differentiated chemicals since 1970. The UK based company is most renowned for being 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.

Huntsman’s existing refrigeration plant used R22, an ozone depleting refrigerant which has been phased out. Huntsman was looking for a replacement solution that would not only stay in line with the company’s sustainability strategy, but also prove to be low cost and long lasting.

Star proposed a cost effective solution with the lowest life cycle costs, involving the use of an ammonia system located inside a purpose built plant room. The use of the zero GWP refrigerant ammonia means that the system is safe from environmental legislation and will effectively minimise Huntsman’s carbon footprint.

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 refrigerant system was accepted.”

In a GAP analysis of the project specifications carried out pre-contract, Star highlighted the importance of the heat exchanger design to ensure that it matched the site installation configuration and the ammonia refrigeration packages were mounted with an explosion proof 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.

Laws added, “One of the key features of the bespoke direct refrigeration system is the high integrity construction of the process heat exchangers and materials used to prevent any cross-contamination between the ammonia and process gas. All components are built to industrial quality standards, increasing plant reliability and longevity and minimising the need for ongoing maintenance and repairs.”

This is not the first project that Star executed for Huntsman Pigments and Additives on 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.

More information on the Huntsman R22 phase out at /case-studies/huntsman-sustainability.aspx