Berre Petrochemical case study - Centrifugal Compressor Rerate

At Howden, we not only solve our customers' problems but we help them improve their day to day operations

Berre Petrochemical Cluster is one of the largest petrochemical complexes in the south of France, with 470 kton of ethylene a year and over 1000 employees. Their Thomassen cracked gas compressor K-201 had been in operation for 35 years. Unfortunately, and despite regular services having been conducted, the compressor had some polymerisation from charge gas, which left a deposit on the gas path that narrowed it, hence reducing its mass flow and efficiency. This meant that the plant’s efficiency was decreasing between turnarounds. For this reason, Berre Petrochemical Cluster contacted Howden to request an anti-fouling coating on the compressor internals.

Howden achieved a 7% reduction in power costs after guaranteeing a minimum of 3% reduction in its final agreement to perform a centrifugal compressor rerate

Printable PDF/brochure
300 bar gas bottles Messerberre-centtrif-compressor-rerate

The solution

At Howden, we not only solve our customers’ problems but we help them improve their day to day operations. For that reason, after undertaking an initial engineering study, we informed the client that by rerating the compressor not only they would solve their fouling problem but also reduce the compressor’s power consumption. After considering all available options, we finally offered the customer either a total rerate or a partial rerate with a 10% or 3% power reduction target respectively. Berre Petrochemical Cluster chose the latter, which involved the anti-fouling coating of newly designed diaphragms and existing rotors while the current impellers, labyrinths and casing grooves remained in place. The newly redefined diffusers and return channels were designed by Howden in such a way as to minimize losses and to maintain the required operating range.

 

We achieved this by comparing the performance of the existing stages with the newly designed stages by baseline comparison method. Then, through Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) we compared the existing design against the optimised one as designed by Howden. Basing our options on this method, we were able to guarantee a minimum power saving of 3% – or more if possible – by reducing the losses, thus increasing the pressure recovery and relative efficiency of the compressor.

 

The results

Despite having a tight schedule to deliver the service, Howden was able to deliver the newly designed diaphragms and existing rotors after coating to the plant two months before turnaround. This ensured the timely installation of the equipment during the outage. After start up, the customer did a performance test and concluded that the power saving was greater than guaranteed. That is, a 7% reduction in power costs. By believing in Howden’s unique solution, Berre Petrochemical Cluster was able to achieve a higher return on investment in comparison to the anti-fouling coating of the existing diaphragm that was initially requested.

Existing velocity vectors

Existing velocity vectors

Redefined velocity vectors

Redefined velocity vectors

  • Shaft power K-201: 26,500 kW
  • 3% power reduction: Δ = 795 kW
  • Annual operating hours: 24 h x 358 d = 8600 h
  • Energy savings: 8600 h/y x 795 kW = 6,837,000 kWh per year
  • Assume € 0.10 / kWh: € 683,700 energy cost savings per year
Existing contours

Existing contours

Redefined contours

Redefined contours

Centrifugal compressor rerate

Redesigning and upgrading the internals of the centrifugal compressors and their drivers will improve the efficiency and/or capacity while limiting the impact on the machinery’s surroundings.

Read more
 

Full Case Study

Please complete the fields below to get your copy.

Email Address
First Name
Last Name
Company
 

Full List of Case Study pages

The introduction of Howden's VN seal system to the air preheaters brought an immediate drop in leakage level from 26% to 5%.


Howden completed a retrofit of VARIAX ID fans on the 640MW unit 5 at Asnaes Power Station, Denmark.


The Howden Free Floating Piston is a proven unique technolgy that turns the weakest point to one of the strongest, which removes rider bands wear at a stroke


Berre Petrochemical Cluster, which includes polypropylene and polyethylene plants, trusted Howden to reduce its power costs by 7% within a 3 year return on investment.


VentSim CONTROL technologies result in impressive cost and energy savings while also raising productivity at Goldcorp Eleonore gold mine.


Fresnillo mine is one of the most technologically advanced deep mines in the world, and incorporates VentSim CONTROL ventilation management.


UPTIME provides advanced compressor performance analysis at Gunvor Petroleum in the Netherlands


Howden worked with a North American hard rock mine to introduce a Ventilation on Demand system using VentSim CONTROL technology.


Installing a bigger hub at Herningvaerket, reducing installation costs and future service expenses.


The understanding and knowledge provided by Howden is an essential factor when installing additional equipment on your compressors.


New integrally geared compressor (IGC) results in power savings up to 31MW/h a day


Replacement of primary plate heaters with Howden custom designed rotary air preheaters.


200 bar to 300 bar hybrid compressor retrofit for helium capacity filling


At Millmerran Power Station, Howden provides a tailored service that supports their needs of the plant to prepare for their upcoming major outage.


New boiler and FGD processes called for a total change of the ID booster fan at a power plant in Plzen


Howden develop method to drastically reduce the cylinder repair time of reciprocating compressors.


Upgrade your reciprocating compressor with our innovative coated liner solution.


The introduction of Howden's HC element to the air preheater resulted in extended operational times.


Huge savings were realised by using Howden's turnkey service to reduce heater leakage and running costs.


A large chemical plant on the east coast of the United States contacted Howden to perform a full Turnkey project on their critical path air preheaters.


Howden expertise solves long lasting problems with an axial fan at Uniper's Franken plant.


During the first few months after the deployment of Uptime, VEAS experienced two distinct challenges where the benefits of Uptime were clearly demonstrated.


VentSim CONTROL case study for three typical mining projects.


Replacement of existing blades at the Wangqu Thermal Power Station


Efficient engineering solves impeller failures at the Wibank coalfield.


Centrifugal Fan

At Tarmac (Dunbar cement plant, UK), their existing Raw Mill fan was replaced with an enhanced Howden design in 2007.


Reciprocating Compressor

Building the world's biggest reciprocating compressor - a white paper and video.


If you would like to submit an enquiry please get in touch.

Your local Howden contact

The below contact(s) are the representatives for your country. You can change country below.