Texas Tower (V.C.F.E. Platformer) Remote Solution Clears Severely Blocked Tubes in the Far East

VCFE Fouling VCFE Severe Fouling VCFE Texas Tower bore blockage VCFE Texas Tower after clean Deposits found in Texas Tower Morning cleaning information

Far Eastern V.C.F.E. cleaned and inspected

A V.C.F.E. (Texas Tower) at a large refinery in Asia suffered from a performance drop caused by tube bore blockages compounded by the heat exchangers inaccessibility and of course many years of operation. Previous cleaning attempts had been unsuccessful due to the limitations of traditional “jetting” technology which, as with many V.C.F.E. water jetting projects, takes too long and becomes the critical path.
This time it was essential that the cleaning contract was completed within a limited time frame with a better solution. Typical V.C.F.E. downtime costs can range from $100k to $500k per day so the cost of overrunning the shutdown was a great concern. Shell Global Solutions challenged Tube Tech to develop an innovative cleaning technology to clean the tube with unknown deposits through limited access as well as presenting inspection results to the client.


  • Dimensions: V.C.F.E. 3200 x 11.66mm i.d. x 20m long vertical tubes.
  • Fouling: salts, iron oxides/sulphates, hydrocarbon coke scale, gummy poly cyclic aromatics.
  • Access: restricted 18” man way nozzle using BA suits for confined space and presence of polycyclic aromatics.
  • Time limit: 7 shifts.


  • Accelerator jets.
  • Pumps up to 55,000-psi availability.
  • Newly developed cleaning mechanism.
  • Lances made under license with Teflon coating.

Tube Tech Comment

Martin Byford, Operations Director: “We have cleaned a variety of V.C.F.E’s all over the world and can honestly say that this was the most fouled VCFE (Texas Tower) we have ever worked on. We are pleased that the client was satisfied with the inspection results they required”.

For more information or to discuss your cleaning challenge call us on +44 1268 786999 or e-mail info@tubetech.com, alternatively click here to fill out our contact form.

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