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Alfa Laval Compablocs improve performance and eliminate corrosion at Brazilian oil refinery

Starting in 2002, Petrobras' Replan oil refinery began replacing some of its shell-and-tube condensers and reboilers with Compabloc compact heat exchangers from Alfa Laval. Today Replan has eight Compablocs in operation.

DATE 2017-07-12

Compabloc in Brazil

The switch to compact heat exchangers was prompted by corrosion problems in the shell-and-tube units in the sour water stripping unit and the need to improve the thermal performance of the condensers in the fluid catalytic cracking unit, FCC.

As the refinery had no previous experience of compact heat exchangers, at first there was some concern about implementing this technology conversion. Accordingly, all technical aspects of Compabloc compared to shell-and-tube solutions were analyzed before going ahead with the purchase.



The all-welded, gasket-free Compabloc compact heat exchanger is designed to operate with a wide range of aggressive media and at high temperatures and pressures.


  • No corrosion problems have been experienced since the Alfa Laval unit was installed.
  • Reduction of the hydrocarbon load on the compressors.
  • Floor space is limited.
  • Very little maintenance.
Alfa Laval gave us good support in finding the best solution. The Compablocs give excellent thermal performance and maintenance costs are lower than for shell-and-tube units.

Osmar Vallim Pedroso,
Senior Engineer at Replan