Last year, LACC LLC, a joint venture of Lotte Chemical and Axiall Corp., announced plans to build a US$3 billion chemical manufacturing complex made up of an ethane cracker facility and a monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, USA. In August, Burckhardt Compression delivered a Laby Compressor System for use in the MEG plant.
According to Burckhardt, the multi-stage Laby labyrinth piston compressor guarantees the continuous compression and delivery of 17,747 lb/h (8050 kg/h) of process gas at a pressure of 2.09 MPa. The 1608-hp (1200-kW) unit’s design conditions include a suction pressure of 14.6 psi (1.01) bar and a discharge pressure of 303.1 psi (20.9 bar).
The unit was delivered as a complete reclaim compressor system, including an electric motor drive, skid-mounted oil system, and skid-mounted water console with a standalone air-cooled heat exchanger. Due to the size of the equipment, the compressor package was delivered in three separate modules – the center module skid for the compressor and main motor driver; and two side modules that contained the piping system, including pulsation dampers (Figure 1).
Burckhardt was responsible for all engineering, procurement, and construction of the compressor system, as well as the design and procurement for all auxiliary items. The compressor was manufactured in Winterthur, Switzerland. Package design was executed through a Houston, USA, area fabrication sub-supplier.
According to Jay Hedlund, North America Market & Applications Manager at Burckhardt, the unit underwent a four-hour mechanical run test of the bare shaft compressor according to API 618, 5th edition. “Final testing of the local operating panel was performed to verify all instrument signals on the compressor skid,” said Hedlund. “We also performed a vibration study according API 618, 5th edition, design approach 3.”
Schedule to become operational in 2019, the MEG plant will have an annual capacity of 700,000 tons (635,029 tonne), making it the largest plant of its kind in the United States. The ethane cracker is designed for an annual capacity of 1 million tons.