Revamp centrifugal compressor to significantly increase ethylene production efficiency

Centrifugal compressor train rerate

Energy savings are a pressing need in the petrochemical industry. The existing centrifugal compressor trains in your ethylene plant can be upgraded to help achieve lower power costs and an increased capacity. Revamping your compressor is more cost effective and less time-consuming than replacing it

What are the challenges in the ethylene industry?

Ethylene producers are facing multiple challenges to maximise the profitability of their process. Whether that is adapting to feedstock change or to more stringent regulations on energy efficiency, producers are being forced to de-bottleneck the existing process by implementing minimal changes to the existing equipment while maximizing capacity at the same time. Located at the heart of the ethylene production process, the compressor and its performance are key to achieving these goals.

Centrifugal compressors and their driver may operate below their optimal design conditions, which are off-design from the original peak efficiency. However, there has also been a significant improvement in centrifugal compressor performance over the last 15 years due to advancements in aerodynamics computing which, in turn, have resulted in efficiency and/or capacity improvement by up to 15% on equivalent centrifugal compressor designs.

Engineer with Compressor
Close up of Compressor
Close up of Compressor
Engineers working

What are the alternatives?

Adapting to new operating conditions does not always mean that one has to add, replace or substitute the existing machinery. Taking into account the time constraints and risks of changing the process, upgrading the existing machinery is the best solution available. Rerate solutions give your centrifugal compressor the performance of a new one at a far lower cost than a full replacement and, at the same time, you reduce power consumption.

Our solution

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. For decades, the key ethylene producers have turned to Howden Thomassen Compressors to enhance the performance of their existing compressors trains. With more than 300 installed units in the ethylene industry, Howden successfully delivered over 100 machinery upgrade projects.

What can a revamp do?

  • Reduce the power consumption
  • Increase the capacity up to 15%
  • Increase the efficiency up to 12%
  • Or a combination of all three

Benefits of a rerate/upgrade

  • ​Limited risks optimizing your production
  • ​Reach state-of-the-art performance
  • Extend lifetime of the machinery
  • Minimal changes to the existing plant and piping layout
  • Satisfactory work completion within deadlines

Why you should choose Howden?

  • Expertise in the ethylene industry
  • Proven track record
  • Lifetime commitment
  • Ability to service all compressor brands
  • Dedicated team of experts
  • Short communication lines
  • Global support with 60 offices worldwide

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Compressor rerates by Howden

Howden’s rerate solutions are tailored to your unique needs. With the original operating data and design, Howden will carry out an engineering study to assess the original design conditions against the existing operating conditions and provide technical documentation that includes:

  • Original design duty
  • Actual duty based on existing operating conditions
  • Optimized duty

At Howden, we optimise the compressor train internals within the constraints of the existing casings. We guarantee that our tested and validated high-efficiency compressor stages can be adapted to the existing components and equipment of your plant.

Case Studies

Berre Centrif compressor

Berre Petrochemical case study - Centrifugal Compressor Rerate

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.

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.

Read case study

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