Posted on March 14th, 2007

PROjEN complete £1.5M chemical project

PROjEN, the award-winning Project Management Company based at Northwich, Cheshire, has just completed a £500,000 project to reduce levels of a surfactant from a clients product range.

The client, who is based in the north west of England, is one of the worlds leading producers of fluorochemicals and fluoropolymer materials and is renowned in the glass and chemical products market. The client manufactures PTFE resin and lubricant powders and has overall responsibility for the sale of Fluon ETFE, Fluon PFA and Aflas throughout Europe.

The overall aim of the project was to provide the client with a new process to remove a surfactant contained in their PTFE aqueous dispersion grades. and consisted of the design and installation of a new process plant within the overall PTFE plant. The construction phase of the project included the production and installation of a 1,000 litre water tank, six 280 litre ion exchange columns, four 200 litre break tanks, two four cubic metre holdings tanks plus the integration and installation of all associated pumps, pipe work and electrical control units and supplies. The six ion exchange columns and the four break tanks were supplied on site as two separate skid units to reduce construction time and to minimise the plant shutdown period, which was only three weeks in total.

The client uses a surfactant as an essential ingredient in the manufacturing process for aqueous dispersions of PTFE. This surfactant is traditionally released into the environment during processing by downstream users and concerns have been expressed about the long life of this substance in the environment. The client, acting upon these concerns, has given voluntary commitments to reduce surfactant content of their PTFE dispersions leading to the instigation and completion of this successful project.

The project was started and finished within four months and was split down into a design phase of one month, a two month procurement phase, six weeks of construction and two weeks of commissioning. A number of these phases were planned to overlap reducing the final project duration time to an impressive four months with project handover taking place in November.

Lyndon Workman, project manager at PROjEN said “This was an extremely successful project for all involved and one in which all at PROjEN are understandably proud of. The project was delivered on time, within budget, meeting all current legislation and safety targets and resulted in the removal of surfactant down to the client’s voluntary target levels. The fact that there was only a three week plant shutdown was also a significant factor in the success”

The project started on the 30th June and was fully completed by the end of October.

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