IGS HVTS Mitigating CO2 Corrosion in Main Amine Column

Successful HVTS Application Mitigates CO2 Corrosion in Main Amine Column

A major Middle East refinery, in collaboration with Integrated Global Services (IGS), successfully tackled CO2 corrosion challenges in their Main Amine Column, showcasing the efficacy of the High Velocity Thermal Spray (HVTS) technology. This case study delves into the details of the project, highlighting the results and potential impact on future projects.

Refinery Background:

The refinery has been associated with IGS since 2017 with the use of IGS’s High Emissivity Ceramic coating to improve the efficiency of their CCR furnaces. In 2019, IGS was chosen to address severe corrosion in their Main Column by using HVTS services. The latest project, undertaken in 2023, helped verify the condition of the prior application and included an expanded scope to further ensure Main Amine Column’s reliability.

Problem – Severe Corrosion in the Main Amine Column

Metal wastage in the Main Amine Column was caused by CO2 corrosion. If corrosion was not addressed effectively, it could have caused a serious breach of the Column’s integrity, leading to an emergency shutdown to perform major repair activities to restore the integrity, with production losses amounting to $2.5M per day. Previously, the refinery had used organic coatings and conventional thermal metal spray from a local contractor, and both technologies failed in this aggressive operating environment.

The plant’s integrity team realized that a more robust and permanent solution was needed. With the planned turnaround every 4 years, IGS HVTS was chosen to freeze any further metal degradation, thereby substantially extending the life of the vessel.


CO2 Pitting Corrosion in the Main Column

Solution – High Velocity Thermal Spray Applied On-Site:

The initial application of IGS HVTS in 2019 onto trays 30-33 demonstrated remarkable results during an inspection in 2021. This led to an extension of the scope from tray area 16-23 in 2023, covering a substantial area of more than 240M² (2,584FT²).

Corroded areas of amine Column where-IGS-HVTS-has-been-applied

General Arrangement Drawing Showing the Areas where IGS HVTS has been applied

Stripping and Amine Treatment Equipment Protected by IGS

In addition to the Main Column, IGS have also addressed areas of concern within the Heavy Gasoline Stripper, Amine Regenerator, Amine Regenerator Reboiler, and a Heat Exchanger in the 2019 project. The 2023 scope included a Heavy Gasoline Stripper Column.

Inspector-Measuring-the-Thickness-of-Applied-HVTS Cladding in Amine Column

IGS HVTS QA/QC Inspector Measuring the Thickness of Applied Cladding

Amine Column On-Site Alloy Upgrade Stops Corrosion
Amine Column On-Site Alloy Upgrade Stops Corrosion

IGS HVTS Completed Application in the Main Column

Benefits and Impact of HVTS Applied to the Amine Column:

The application of IGS HVTS secured the Amine Column from further corrosion attack in the protected areas. With a turnaround every four years, the refinery now benefits from peace of mind and anticipates extending IGS’s scope to other refinery units at the next turnaround. The economic impact of avoiding emergency shutdowns, with potential losses of approximately $2.5 million per day, further underscores the benefit of choosing a technology that protects the Column’s substrate from metal degradation.

Conclusion of another successful HVTS procedure by IGS:

In summary, the strategic application of IGS HVTS in the Main Column has provided the refinery with a sustainable solution to CO2 corrosion and de-risked their operations. The success of this project positions IGS as a trusted partner in mitigating corrosion challenges in critical energy process equipment.

This case study not only highlights the technical success of HVTS but also emphasizes the importance of proactive corrosion management in preventing significant economic losses. IGS looks forward to future collaborations and continues to be at the forefront of innovative solutions for mission-critical equipment challenges.

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JanAlbert Schutte

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Thermal spray

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