The Challenge

Located in Central America, the plant with four cryogenic process units is one of the world’s largest nitrogen generation plants. The nitrogen produced at the plant will be injected into a local oil field to stabilise reservoir pressure and recover oil production rates. The field produces over 1 million barrels of oil per day and is crucial to the local economy.

Within the plant are four air compressors each consuming some 52MW of electricity and producing 300 million MMscfd of nitrogen per day. After nearly 20 years of operation, the plant required upgrading. The plant had IMI CCI installed valves and actuators operating in critical applications to the satisfaction of the customer. While the valves operated great for the last 20 years, the customer now needed it to provide the same level of performance for the next twenty years.

The Solution

The installed valves were operating in critical high pressure anti-surge control and low pressure bypass applications. Hence reliability, efficiency and accuracy were essential to the valve performance. The original actuators, installed over 20 years ago exceeded the intended original design life and were now an obsolete design.

The IMI CCI team recommended a complete actuation system upgrade to the recently launched High Endurance (HE) actuator with FasTrak positioner. The HE actuator design innovations include piston grease injection ports and a grease reservoir for constant seal lubrication, a removable actuator shaft seal gland for easy service, double piston and stem guiding to protect the actuator seals from debris. These actuator features are expected to deliver longer service life, better sealing and precise guiding. The innovative actuator features and benefits exceeded customer expectations. The plant placed an order to replace the six existing actuators on its anti-surge valves and low pressure bypass valves with the new design HE actuators.