Hot Spot Repair on Ammonia Reformer Saves $Millions by Preventing Emergency Shutdown

This case study examines an ammonia reformer with a turnaround next planned in three years’ time. A 3 X 1.5m hot spot caused a structural integrity concern. A Hot-tek Hot Refractory Repair on the live furnace saved this plant $5M+.

Asset Owner

The leading mining and metals company in Saudi Arabia, and the tenth largest mining company in the world.

The Problem

The Plant’s ammonia reformer had a hot spot over a large area (3 x 1.5m). The surface integrity of the shell had deteriorated over a period of approximately 18 months due to long-term exposure to high temperatures, leading to steel deformation. Despite the use of steam quenching, the temperatures were rising progressively threatening the integrity of the shell. The next planned turnaround was in three years’ time. Shutting down the unit for an emergency repair would have had a major cost impact due to loss of production.


The Solution


The plant approached IGS to perform Hot Refractory Repair, a proprietary patented IGS Hot-tek solution to address hot spots on a live furnace during its normal operation.

How it works

  • Access in the steel shell is created
  • Proprietary baskets are inserted
  • Refractory pumped
  • Plates welded to seal repair

The Benefit

Performing the hot spot repair during the units normal operation saved the plant over $5 million by avoiding an emergency shutdown. A conventional repair would have required the unit to be shutdown for at least three days.

How can IGS’ Hot Refractory Repair Services keep you online?


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Larry Emch

IGS Subject Matter Expert


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