Impossible descaling task returns plant to full production

Summary

In competition with other service providers, Tube Tech was awarded a three-year term contract by Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) following the success of a complex fast-track descaling operation at the company’s Bonny Island processing facility. Nigeria LNG Limited is jointly owned by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (49%), Shell (25.6%), Total LNG Nigeria Ltd (15%) and Eni (10.4%).

Challenge

NLNG discovered that cooling water condensers tubes, heat exchangers and pipelines within their liquid natural gas plant had become severely contaminated by deposits, classified as uncleanable using traditional processes due to the small diameter and length of tubes.

Tube Tech team prior to leaving UK Tube Tech unpacking equipment in Nigeria Special collapsible pig Blocked heat exchanger tube sheet before clean Tube Tech high water pressure specialist Tube Tech inspection Morning cleaning information

Solution

  • Tube Tech organised an airborne assault – chartering three cargo aircraft to fly 32 multi-discipline operatives and 46 tonnes of specialised equipment from the company’s UK base – within only two weeks of the site visit.
  • Working continuous days and nights in often extreme weather, Tube Tech established the condition of each individual application.
  • A combination of 12 innovative techniques was used to clean and descale all straight and U-bend heat exchangers and pipelines, without cutting.
  • Tube Tech completed the cleaning and integrity inspection three times faster than the nearest competing estimate, saving millions of dollars in profits that would otherwise have been lost through extended downtime.

Client Comment

The Managing Director/Chief Executive of NLNG commented: “Tube Tech provided a comprehensive range of cleaning and inspection skills to complete the challenging work scope within difficult timescales. Considering the circumstances and pressures surrounding this project, Tube Tech demonstrated a high level of commitment in completing this work, which enabled the plant to return to full production.”
(NLNG is a Nigerian Joint Venture company whose shareholders are National Petroleum Corporation, Shell Total Final Elf and Agip).

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