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OLD-FASHIONED PROCESS EQUIPMENT IN NEW CLOTHES: FILTER REVAMPING IN RUNNING BROWNFIELD PLANTS

Langeloh, T., Bott, R., Hahn, J., Li, Y.L., Song, P.K., Wang, X.H. and Guo, S.X.

The capacity increase of alumina production plants can be achieved by either investing in new production lines or by de-bottlenecking of the running plants. Numerous studies in the past have proven that the de-bottlenecking of existing production capacities is the most feasible and the least risky method.

The revamping process for de-bottlenecking and upgrading of running equipment is characterised by features like short-termed preplanning phases, fast realisation, step-by-step engineering, involvement of own know-how and own plant technologies and exact cost control. Contrary to this the investing in new equipment means long-termed pre-engineering, technology screening and claiming for financing, decelerated realisation (at least by delivery times), complex engineering related to building, piping and wiring, overcoming of acceptance barriers by operators and maintenance people, high additional cost for new peripheral equipment and risky claiming for new investment funds depending on outside decision makers and on market factors. The implementation of used but suitable filter equipment from other plants for de-bottlenecking purposes offers additional interesting chances. The careful revamping and adaptation of used filters to the new process conditions ensure an improved performance.

Against this background a successful concept has been developed for de-bottlenecking and revamping of existing brownfield filtration plants for each kind of filtration in the scope of an alumina refinery. Numerous projects in many alumina plants all over the world prove the attractive feasibility of this revamping concept.