Air Products has announced it will be providing four of its MCR Main Cryogenic Heat Exchangers (MCHEs) for Sonatrach’s GL1Z LNG facility in Arzew, Algeria. The four heat exchangers will each have 1.3 million tonnes per year production capacity and will replace four previous heat exchangers supplied by Air Products in the late 1970s, which are some of the longest operating MCHEs in the world.
The four MCHEs to be supplied by Air Products will be installed at the heart of the proprietary AP-C3MR propane pre-cooled mixed refrigerant liquefaction process at the multi-train facility.
The original six MCHE’s at the Sonatrach facility were supplied by Air Products in 1977. Since that time, the location has undergone multiple rejuvenation projects and the original MCHEs are still in service. The new exchangers will incorporate the latest advances in design and manufacture which have been developed by Air Products over the past four decades.
“This is a very significant contract for Air Products to have won with a very important customer, Sonatrach, who has been a valuable customer of ours for many years. This is another important milestone in our commitment to work with Sonatrach in Algeria and deliver the best heat exchanger technology in the LNG industry. Air Products is very proud that we built the original heat exchangers, which are still operating at the Arzew facility in Algeria and have been for over four decades. Air Products’ goal is to provide excellent customer service and develop long standing relationships with our customers and our continuous work with Sonatrach in Algeria is a perfect example of doing just that,” said Dr. Samir J. Serhan, chief operating officer at Air Products.
”Air Products’ supply, installation, supervision, and commissioning of the four MCHEs is part of Sonatrach’s plan to revamp its LNG plants built in the 1970s. This project will help reduce maintenance costs, reduce gas consumption rates and maintain LNG gas production at the GL1Z plant. We have confidence in the expertise and capacity of Air Products as a Sonatrach LNG technology traditional provider, and as a partner in the gas industry to manage the contract in a way that matches our plan,” said Toufik Hakkar, Sonatrach’s CEO.
Additionally, beyond the supply of the equipment, Air Products will be responsible for overseeing the installation of the equipment and also provide advisory services and engineering studies.
Air Products will build the LNG heat exchangers at its Port Manatee, Florida manufacturing facility. Air Products opened its Port Manatee facility in January 2014 and completed a 60% expansion in October 2019 to meet the needs of the ever-growing LNG industry. In October 2018, Air Products dedicated a new LNG equipment test facility (ETF), which will enable Air Products to improve the reliability and yield produced from its LNG equipment and to design new equipment.
Air Products’ proprietary LNG technology, vital to helping meet the world’s increasing energy needs and desire for clean energy, processes and cryogenically liquefies valuable natural gas for consumer and industrial use. For over 50 years Air Products has manufactured LNG heat exchangers, which currently operate in over 100 LNG trains in 20 countries around the world.
Typically, an LNG heat exchanger can be as large as over 15 feet (5 meters) in diameter and 180 feet (55 meters) long. A finished unit can weigh as much as 500 tons.
Air Products’ LNG process technology and equipment is the heart of an LNG production plant. The technology, in place at some of the most remote locations around the world, takes natural gas and unlocks its value by liquefying it and making it possible to economically ship it. The LNG is eventually re-gasified for energy uses.
The majority of total worldwide LNG is produced with Air Products’ technology. In support of the LNG industry, Air Products provides process technology and key equipment for the natural gas liquefaction process for large export plants, small and mid-sized LNG plants, floating LNG plants and LNG peak shavers. Upstream, Air Products provides both nitrogen and natural gas dehydration membrane systems for offshore platforms. Downstream, Air Products provides membrane nitrogen generators for LNG carriers, and land-based membrane and cryogenic nitrogen systems for LNG import terminals and baseload LNG plants.