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How eight Alfa Laval spiral heat exchangers saved €1,647,000 a year

When a Russian oil company acquired a new refinery in 1999, modernization and cost control topped the agenda. A key concernwas the high cost of maintenance for the heat exchangers used in thevisbreaking process at the new plant. Alfa Laval was asked to provethat their spiral heat exchangers could solve the problem. Alfa Lavaldelivered that proof – along with some impressive savings.

DATE 2015-02-27

It’s well known that in oil refineries, many processes are subject to problems with heavy fouling that affect overall plant performance and profitability. Operating costs associated with fouling in refinery heat exchangers include increased fuel needs and pumping power, increased CO2 emissions, and excessive maintenance costs and downtime.

The company saved €1,647,000 per year on maintenance alone thanks to Alfa Laval’s spiral heat exchangers. But there are other savings as well. For example, heat-transfer efficiency is up to four times higher now, safety has increased and throughput and production are more stable and more profitable.

The spiral heat exchangers provide ideal heat transfer and fluid handling characteristics for a wide range of industrial and environmental applications. 

 Spiral heat exchanger

  • Maintenance costs dropped from €1,650,000yearly to €3000
  • One year payback period
  • Insignificant fouling since commissioning
  • More stable and profitable throughput andproduction
  • Better heat-transfer efficiency
  • Increased safety 
  • The customer acquired a new refinery in 1999
  • The new refinery was plagued by extremely high maintenance costs – €1,650,000 yearly – for the shell and tube heat exchangers used in heavily fouling visbreaking bottom cooling duties 
  • Two spiral heat exchangers installed in 2001
  • Six more spiral heat exchangers installed in 2002
  • In all, eight spiral heat exchangers replaced 12 shell and tube heat exchangers
  • The entire visbreaking bottom cooling duty is now handled by spiral heat exchangers