SABIC UK Petrochemicals phases out R22 refrigeration plant with natural ammonia Azanechiller

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SABIC UK Petrochemicals, Europe’s leading producer of petrochemicals, commissioned Star Refrigeration to secure their RBS Butadiene Plant in Wilton against future environmental legislation.

Air cooled low carbon Azanechillers

SABIC's low charge ammonia Azanechillers

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 charge ammonia technology employed.

The 35 year old refrigeration plant upgrade brought SABIC’s world class petrochemical production site into line with the R22 phase out, which came into force last January 2015.

Star Refrigeration, the UK’s largest independent industrial refrigeration company, produced a competitive solution using modular package design chillers to meet the company’s process cooling requirements.

Although an initial plan to install a bespoke system to completely replace the existing R22 plant was evaluated, a fully bespoke scheme proved expensive.

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 -9C to -14C. The air-cooled Azanechillers are configured to operate in series for maximum efficiency, actively cooling the glycol supplied to the butadiene process heat exchangers.

David Laws, Sales Manager - Process Industries at Star Refrigeration, said, “One of the major benefits to SABIC UK is 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 charge 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'."

This was not the first time that Star has worked with SABIC- Star has previously supplied a propylene refrigeration system for the SABIC Ethylene Liquefaction plant at North Tees.

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

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Astrid Prado
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