A new approach for fixing leakages in Qatalum, QAT case study


Courtesy of AMEX GmbH

Qatalum is the largest aluminium smelter plant ever launched in one phase and is a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and Norsk Hydro. Its annual capacity is 585,000 metric tons of primary aluminium. Qatalum also ensures a stable supply of electricity by a 1350 MW natural gas power plant but this requires an effectively function of the cooling water system.

Project description
The cooling water system in Qatalum plays a critical role in the operation of the steam turbines. If the steam turbines are not working, the heat energy from the gas turbine exhaust is not used and this means high extra costs for the company.

The new leakages were discovered in January 2014. The defects of the pipeline could be attributed to the manufactured pipe material. The piping is made out of glass reinforced plastic [GRP] which contained imperfections in the resin compositions as well as in the orientation of the fiberglass strands which reduced the axial strengths of the pipe significantly and making it much more susceptible to cracks and leakyjoints. The traditional and very complicated repair method took approximately 7 weeks in the first attempt.

Thanks to the new, unconventional method of AMEX the rehabilitation work was done much quicker. Qatalum purchased even more seals as a proactive measure and will keep them in stock in case more leaks develop. In future the whole rehabilitation will take approximately 2 days instead of several weeks without excavation or dewa-tering.

Project Details

  • Project: Rehabilitation of the cooling water system
  • End client: Qatar Aluminium Limited (Q.S.C.)
  • Country: Qatar
  • Construction area: Qatalum
  • Installation period: 2014
  • Area of application: Cooling water system
  • Number of seals: 15 Vario, 19 Mono
  • Nominal DN (mm): DN 2400
  • Challenge: Glass reinforced plastic (GRP)

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