International Fertilizer Manufacturer benefits from Seaco Water Treatment Solution
Paradigm Shift in Treatment Saves Millions
Executive Summary A major fertilizer manufacturer was facing a potential capital cost of $2.6 million in infrastructure repairs, as well as operational shut-down of significant supply of nitric acid to the western US for months, in order to repair damaged heat exchangers. In response to an official ask from the customer, Seaco Technologies designed and presented a solution that would not only address the cause of the corrosive attack, but also protect the existing equipment going forward – eliminating the $2.6 million expenditure and maintaining the supply of a critical fertilizer precursor to the agricultural industry.
CHALLENGES Corrosion rates under the previous treatment program (alternative vendor) were >5mpy, resulting in large localized pitting and tubercle formation on their surface condensers and intercoolers. The customers water supply was high in scaling index, corrosive and contained considerable levels of silica. It’s geographical location and the surrounding seasonal agricultural operations resulted in high potential for biological fouling adding to the corrosion potential. The company’s engineering department set the following critical standards and KPIs to be met if replacement of the heat exchange equipment was to be avoided:
- Corrosion rates ≤1 mpy; must be monitored continuously with system alarms to report any deviations.
- Operational treatment costs to be maintained within the annual budgetary allocations.
- Overall System Hygiene ≤75 RLU of microbiological ATP in planktonic phase; no presence of sessile biological film on treated surfaces.
The Seaco Solution Seaco specifically developed a treatment program coupled with a tightly managed biological control treatment plan to meet and exceed the customer requirements while staying 8% under the annual operational treatment budgeting. In the implementation phase, Seaco was present on site with our mobile laboratory unit – monitoring and conducting multi-week technical analysis, while providing real-time data to facility management. This opportunity was also used to provide training to operations staff to ensure continued success going forward.
Collateral Benefits and Future Plans While helping the customer avoid $2.6MM expenditure and loss in production; Seaco was able to accomplish the following year over year to present:
- Seaco’s technical solution significantly outperformed solutions put forward by larger competitors with established credibility in the industry, at a much lower cost to the customer.
- 0.2-0.34 mpy continuously monitored corrosion rate of carbon steel
- Biological control at 13-20 RLU microbiological ATP
- Sustained quality assurance and delivery within 1-2% of allocated
CAPEX cost savings for customer - $2.4 million
Operational cost savings for customer - higher protection against future corrosion at lower cost compared to competitors
Sustained protection against biologicial fouling