Termomeccanica solution for Kuwaiti oil & gas deal

Main sea water pump during hydraulic testing at TMP’s workshop facilities.
Main sea water pump during hydraulic testing at TMP’s workshop facilities.

When an LNG plant in Kuwait needed pumps which could handle aggressive fluids from a company with a track record in made-to-measure solutions. Italy’s Termomeccanica became the chosen supplier.

At the end of 2016, TMP was assigned a contract of approximately 10 million euro for the supply of the main pumps of the Al-Zour LNG plant in Kuwait. The supply consists of engineered pumps designed according to API 610 standards and customized to the customer’s requirements. There are in total n°14 sea water supply pumps + n°2 sea water cooling pumps, all of API 610 VS1-type. The Al Zour re-gasification plant has the capacity to process approximately 3 billion m3 of gas a day and is equipped with eight LNG storage tanks. Its engineering, procurement and construction contract has been assigned to a Korean consortium between HEC, HDEC and Korea Gas Corporation by the national Kuwaiti company in charge of the downstream oil refining activities: Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company Refining (KIPIC).

Open rack vaporizer plant The Al-Zour LNG plant is an ‘open rack vaporizer’ (ORV) plant whose vaporizer will be supplied with seawater by TMP pumps. Such a vaporizer has the capacity to bring liquefied gas from a -160°C temperature to ambient temperature and so to a gaseous state. The use of seawater as the heat source to vaporize liquefied natural gas makes the ORV plant a low cost one. The ORV plant’s simplicity of operation and easy maintenance also respond to recent market trends.

Termomeccanica was chosen by the EPC contractor, HEC, as technological partner thanks to its century-old expertise in designing and manufacturing this type of pumps and its flexibility in offering made-to-measure solutions to customers requirements. The 16 pumps have been designed in compliance with the most stringent DEP Shell specifications for the petrochemical sector and according to the API 610 standards.

Given the aggressiveness of the fluid pumped in the Kuwaiti territory, the material chosen for the components of the pumps in contact with such fluid is Super Duplex stainless steel. A dedicated filtering system, supplied by TMP, makes it possible to flush the guide bearings of the protected shaft pump, as well as the cooling of the stuffing box, the pump thrust bearing and the motor bearings. 

Avoiding algae The pumps are also equipped with a mechanical anti-rotation system (ratchet), and hypochlorite piping to avoid the accumulation of algae and deposits on the filter, a single mechanical seal and a 13/62 plan auxiliary sealing system. They will be driven by a 2.1 MW asynchronous electric motor, powered with a 6.6 kV voltage and 50 Hz frequency power.

Considering the length of the pumping unit (more than 25 m between the filter and the electric motor), Termomeccanica's R&D Department ran series of structural, vibrational and fluidodynamics analyses in parallel to the design activities. Before the on-site commissioning, TMP made available its own test center for the supervision of the pumps performance tests to be run by both the customer and user.