True Cost of Ownership Initial Purchase Price Vs Long Term Costs of Oil Water Separators


Courtesy of Mercer International Inc.

When evaluating various manufacturers’ oil water separator offerings, there are some veryimportant considerations to make in regard to total life-cycle costs of the equipment. Likemost industrial wastewater equipment, an oil water separator is not a set-it-and-forget-itsystem. The initial purchase price of the separator is only the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes tounderstanding the overall cost during its useful lifespan. Procurement, installation, and maintenancecosts are the three main areas that need to be carefully analyzed to help ensure the variousmanufacturers’ equipment offerings are being fairly compared.

Typical specifications for industrial wastewater treatment equipment call for a 20-year equipmentoperating life span. However, some industries like the Oil & Gas industry have benchmarks of a 30-yearexpected operational life. One recent nuclear power plant specification called for a 60-year operatinglife. It is important to consider not only the advantages of choosing superior materials of constructionfor long-term cost savings, but it is also paramount to find ways to extend periods between requiredmaintenance schedules. By increasing periods between maintenance, it can be seen that verysignificant savings are realized. In many cases, the after-installation costs on a mid-sized separatorcan exceed $1,000,000 over the life cycle of the equipment. This represents a significant savings, andwe find that it is rarely being scrutinized closely by the end user. Cutting corners during the selectionprocess could either mean exorbitantly high cleaning costs moving forward, or a unit that does notstand up to the test of time; thereby the entire separator needing early replacement.

This document is a review of both the initial and long-term costs that should be considered whencomparing oil/water separator designs, and explains how investing in a Compliance Master™ oil/waterseparator saves its clients substantial operation and maintenance capital. Like anything else in thisworld . . .you usually get what you pay for…or less! Mercer takes great pride in being a leader in oilwater separation design. Superior design produces superior results. Superior results make the choicefor a premium product easily justifiable to the end user once they clearly identify the long-term benefitsand cost savings obtained by a more thoughtfully-designed system. The Mercer advantage offersan end user a better solution with higherperformance and substantial operationalcost savings over the life of the equipment.

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