Acron has completed a planned major overhaul and launched urea units 1-4 three days ahead of schedule, which allowed it to produce an additional lot of the marketable product.
The extensive work took a week and involved 12 subcontractors, plant personnel, and specialists from the production support, capital construction and industrial safety departments. To minimise the downtime, the plant operated round-the-clock for three days and produced over 3,000 additional tonnes of urea.
The overhaul included: launching a new Sundyne centrifugal pump, repairing rotating equipment, adjusting a computer-driven control system prior to switching on an Atlas Copco processor, testing over 400 units of fitting and 90 pressure relief valves, inspecting 17 pressure vessels, repairing a granulation tower shaft (250 m2), and replacing a distillation column at unit 3.
Plant head Sergey Berezin commented: “The overhaul including stoppage and launch took seven days. Due to high demand for our product, we needed to speed up the overhaul process. Once units 1-4 are upgraded, we plan to reach output of 1,800 tonnes per day as early as 2017”.
For reference, the urea plant at Acron’s site in Veliky Novgorod has been in operation since 1969. In 2012, a new 1,000-tpd unit 5 was commissioned. Investments totalled USD 95 million.
Currently, Acron is upgrading four production units launched in 1969 and 1970. Once the upgrades are completed, the total daily capacity of the five units will reach 3,000 tonnes and annual capacity will exceed 1 million tonnes. Another scheduled stage of upgrades for units 1-4 including installation of rotating equipment (pumps and compressors) has started at the beginning of 2016.
The upgrades will help minimise urea oil content and meet the growing demand for AdBluе urea, which is used to produce Aus-32, an environmentally friendly and increasingly popular fuel.