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During the operation of a plant or after a revamp, the plant sometimes under-performs for reasons that are not immediately apparent. In such circumstances it is necessary to carefully investigate the problem, go beyond the obvious cause and find the real reason for the problem.During a distillation column revamp for about a 30% capacity increase, […]

Reducing Flaring Losses

Ammonia savings of R17.7 million a year – An Alliance success story The ammonia refrigeration and storage plant in Secunda has experienced significant losses due to flaring over the years. At the current Ammonia price these losses were calculated to be in the region of R24 million per year.Investigations performed in 1999 indicated that an […]

Recovery of Gas from Lake Kivu – The Goats of Rwanda

Months before the story really starts I received a phone call from Philip. “Stanley,” he said, “I need somebody to do some Process Engineering for me”.Philip and I know each other from the years when we both worked for the same large multinational engineering company. We both left that company at more or less the […]

Project Risk Assessment – Monte Carlo Simulation

At the Conceptual Estimate stage of any prospect, capital and operating cost estimates are usually compiled in a simple spreadsheet. Net present Value (NPV) and Internal Rate of Return (IRR) calculations are typically performed and the economic viability of the project, based on these, or similar criteria, is assessed. At this early stage, the simple […]

IPE Costs Comparison

Introduction Icarus Process Evaluator (IPE) is a tool that was developed to give process engineers an insight into the cost effectiveness of their designs, allowing them to evaluate the costs of different options in the early phases of a project. IPE uses heat and material balances to develop detailed designs, costs and schedules. The IPE […]

Integrated Off-Shore Gas Extraction & Separation and On-Shore GTL Euro-5 Grade Petrol Production in Rwanda – A Feasibility Study

Synopsis In recent years, Rwanda has experienced an energy crisis, mainly attributable to both electricity and fuel shortages. Dissolved methane (CH4) gas is available in Lake Kivu, Rwanda/DRC and if this gas can be extracted economically, it can be used as a source of energy. The extraction of 100 million m3s/annum can produce c.a. 820 […]

A Typical African Refinery Revamp

Setting the Scene A small refinery in Africa is considering increasing its capacity. Due to political and economic uncertainty, the company is unsure of future market demand and pricing structure. Because of years of technical neglect, except for essential maintenance and operational requirements, the refinery is not operating efficiently, nor is it using the latest […]