Innovative solutions for Ammonia Synthesis Converter project

Innovative solutions for Ammonia Synthesis Converter project

Innovative approaches to catalyst handling and a basket assembly replacement saves time and ensures a job well done on an ammonia synthesis converter in Egypt.

Delta Fertilizers

Contract Resources Oilfield Services LLC (based in the United Arab Emirates) was awarded a large project by Delta Fertilizers as part of the plant turnaround at their site in Mansoura, Egypt. CR was tasked with both the catalyst and internal replacement scope of work on the plant's ammonia synthesis converter.

To execute the project, CR called on our local agent IPSG – one of the leading services companies in Egypt – to assist in the mobilisation of equipment from the UAE. Projects in the Middle East can have unique logistical challenges, and in this case we required the necessary equipment to be sent in trailers across the Saudi Arabian desert, then across the Red Sea by ferry to eventually to reach the city of Mansoura in the Nile Delta where the Delta Fertilizers site is located.

CR’s mechanical scope of work included undertaking the converter isolations and opening of the converter, and the replacement of the existing basket assembly with a new design S-200 basket from Haldor Topsoe. Our approach included a number of time-saving aspects that enabled the project to proceed swiftly and smoothly.

CATALYST HANDLING The catalyst handling work involved unloading both beds under constant nitrogen conditions, screening, and drizzle loading of the new catalyst.

Meticulous planning is a hallmark of Contract Resources, and our plans for the drizzle loading included building a unique and highly customised discharge hopper, tailor-made to fit on the converter top and which could be easily removed and installed during the basket installation activities on the converter.

The screening of fresh catalyst was planned and undertaken to minimise the exposure time once the drums were opened. The catalyst was screened directly into the lifting hoppers and feed the discharge hopper that was set up with 4 No’s of drizzle loading attachments.

Drizzle loading achieved the target density for both the catalyst types that was loaded into the converter without any need for additional vibration of the catalyst bed.

NEW BASKET ASSEMBLY The new basket assembly was delivered in a dummy transportation shell, which needed to be staged close to the reactor due to the lifting capacity of the crane and working area near the converter.

Rather than wasting time erecting and dismantling scaffolding to enable the necessary access, instead CR chose to weld a temporary platform to the dummy shell itself to assist with the rigging activity – a decision that allowed us to save a lot of time and get the job done faster.

Having representatives from Haldor Topsoe present during the installation of the new basket assembly welding on the outlet bellows and installation of the compression gasket ensured these installations were completed perfectly without any rework required – another tick in the time-saving box.

The entire project was executed with thorough planning and our industry-leading standards of safety, ensuring a successful and uneventful project for the client.

[October 2014]