Heaters provide an efficient solution at bitumen plant

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Babcock Wanson has supplied two high efficiency EPC 2500ES Thermal Fluid Heaters with advanced controls to Eastham Refinery for heating bitumen product storage tanks

Heaters provide an efficient solution at bitumen plantTemperature of the Eastham Refinery storage tanks needs to be sufficiently high to ensure that the bitumen product can still be pumped when it reaches the customer. If the bitumen temperature drops too low it becomes difficult to pump, so an accurate and reliable heat source is therefore essential.

Located on the Wirral, Merseyside, and a joint venture between Shell UK and AB Nynas Petroleum, Eastham Refinery (ERL) is the largest producer of bitumen in the UK with an annual capacity of 800,000 tonnes of bitumen per year. Two Babcock Wanson EPC ES natural gas-fired Thermal Fluid Heaters with control systems incorporating O2 and CO trim to further improve efficiency, have replaced the existing direct oil-fired furnaces on-site which were considered old and inefficient.

“ERL considered converting to gas firing on the original heaters," said Douglas Watt, Senior Process Engineer and the Project Manager. "This would have required significant investment to update the equipment and to bring the control/instrumentation up to modern standards. A packaged heater solution was more cost-effective.”

Babcock Wanson's EPC ES is a fully automatic coil type, multi-pass Thermal Fluid Heater which provides a high efficiency solution to a very energy intensive process. It provides optimal distribution of the heat, high fluid velocity in the exchange tubes and continuous flow monitoring to ensure long fluid life and the highest level of safety. The EPC Heater precisely matches fuel input to plant energy requirements and incorporates an in-built exhaust gas to combustion air economiser for highest practicable operating efficiency. And with lower energy input demand comes lower total exhaust emissions, so there are also environmental benefits.

“The heaters have met our expectation and are straightforward to operate," says Watt. They have resulted in a significant reduction in fuel cost over our previous oil fired heaters. The service has been good — the start-up and commissioning engineer was very professional.”

Babcock Wanson offers a complete range of products and services for boiler houses and other process heating needs, from steam boilers, thermal fluid heaters, rapid steam generators, process air heaters and hot water boilers to VOC and odour treatment by thermal oxidation, water treatment or process air heating solutions.



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