Steam trap maintenance at Petrobras results in energy savings by warwar123


									Release date: 3rd February 2006

      Steam trap maintenance at Petrobras results in energy savings

Since 1999 Spirax Sarco has had a steam trap maintenance contract set up with
Petrobras RLAM.

Petrobras RLAM is located in São Francisco do Conde, Bahia, and is the oldest
refinery in Brazil. The main products produced at the refinery include propane,
propene, isobutane, domestic gas, gasoline, naphtha petrochemical, kerosene, jet
fuel, paraffin, fuel oils and asphalt.

The survey
Of the 25 steam system units at Petrobras RLAM, which Spirax Sarco maintains,
most of the steam is destined for the steam tracing lines. During our surveys, we
have frequently found problems heating several of the products used and produced
by RLAM.

Following a recent survey of the unit 32 steam system (an atmospheric and vacuum
distillation unit), we uncovered a number of problems with a turnkey system supplied
by one of our competitors, which were as follows:

•     Components were not within specification and low quality. This caused
      inefficiency of the heating system in the lines. This was due to a large amount
      of accumulated condensate, which did not allow thermal exchange between the
      steam tracing line and the product in the pipeline, which led to the product
      being ‘frozen’).

•     Purged systems using collective draining contributed to the accumulation of
      condensate in the system.

•     A large and increasing number of steam traps which were passing steam was
      causing pressurisation of the condensate return lines.

•     From the 116 tonne/month of steam consumed, only 10% was returned as
      condensate to the boiler.

•     A large number of steam traps in the steam tracing lines were installed in a
      vertical position, causing leakage.

•     Low pressure (3.5 bar) and medium pressure (12 bar) condensate return lines
      were linked, thereby locking the low-pressure line steam traps. This problem
      was linked to pressurisation caused by the leaking steam traps on the medium-
      pressure line.

According to the consultant technician, Petrobras RLAM had lost approximately
US$20m during 2004, due to the cumulative effect of all these problems.

A technical and economic viability study was raised to look at the adequacy of the
draining points.

We recommended separate trapping of tracers, which would solve the problem of
frozen products. Consequently these products would benefit from improved quality,
meeting the correct specification and the desired standard.

We recommend that the low and medium pressure condensate systems be

We recommended that all steam traps in vertical lines be installed in the correct
position, applying diffusers and UTD quick fit connector thermodynamic steam traps,
in accordance with the NR-116 (Petrobras Standard).

A pumping system was designed to allow the return of all the condensate formed to
the boiler house. There was evidence of a lower level of effluent generation, not just
because of the water recycling, but also by the reduction of gases and other fuels
burning in the boilers.

We called Petrobras’ attention to the Health, Environment and Safety (SMS) issues,
concerning noise and energy waste, in accordance with the ABAST Industrial Area
manual, which includes the Corporative Project of Qualification in SMS.

•   We have installed 500 draining sets (DF diffusers and UTDs) in this unit

•    We supplied supervision where Spirax Sarco products were installed.

•    In accordance with estimates made by Petrobras, approximately US$4.5m will
     be saved, once the process products have reached high quality

•    All products meet the Petrobras standard

•    Energy savings have been currently estimated at US$88 890

•    Elimination of steam leakage from the steam traps

•    The total sales for unit 32 amount to R$950 000 00

Caption:       Following a steam trap survey Spirax Sarco was able to provide
               Petrobras with significant energy savings.


Spirax-Sarco Limited
Spirax-Sarco Limited is the world leader in the control and efficient use of steam and
other industrial fluids.


Alison Davis
Marketing Communications Executive,
Spirax-Sarco Ltd., Group Marketing,
Charlton House, Cheltenham,
Gloucestershire GL53 8ER, England.
Tel.: +44 (0) 1242 521361
Fax: +44 (0) 1242 573342

To top