During the commissioning and startup of an alumina processing plant in the Middle East, a significant recurring pump issue was causing delays to the commissioning of the facility. When de-energizing the equipment, the live steam condensate vertical can pumps experienced repeated failures of all installed units. These seizures occurred at both the design fluid temperature and when pumping cold water.
Because this was a new plant in the commissioning phase, the equipment was under warranty. However, negotiations with the OEM were lengthening the challenged startup schedule. There was little insight into the root cause of the equipment failure.
As the repeated failures were affecting the plant commissioning date, the large architect, engineering and construction (AEC) firm in charge of plant commissioning decided to contact an independent, aftermarket service provider located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to conduct an assessment to determine the root cause of the pump failures and provide solutions.
Authored by Michael Mancini.