Precommissioning tests ongoing at Braskem’s Mexican petrochemicals project

Braskem Idesa SAPI, a 75-25 joint venture of Braskem SA, Sao Paulo, and Groupo Idesa SA de CV, Mexico City, through a contractor, has let a contract to Atlas Copco Rental LLC, La Porte, Tex., to supply air compressors required for process safety testing at its nearly completed Etileno XXI petrochemical complex in the Coatzacoalcos-Nanchital region of the Mexican state of Veracruz (OGJ, July 7, 2014, p. 90; July 1, 2013, p. 90).

As part of the contract, which was awarded in December 2014, Atlas Copco Rental has provided a selection of its oil-free air compressors for mandatory safety and reliability testing at the complex during the precommissioning and commissioning phases, the service company said on June 11.

The order includes delivery of the following:

• 13 medium-pressured, diesel-powered PTS 916 air screw compressors, with a pressure range of 10-150 psi and flow range of 1,300-1,600 cfm.

• 4 high-pressured, diesel-powered PNS 1250 air screw compressors, with a pressure range of 90-350 psi and maximum flow rate of 1,250 cfm.

• 2 medium-pressured, electric-powered ZT 90-kw air screw compressors, with a pressure range of 40-150 psi and flow range of 650-830 cfm.

• 10 dryers.

The compressors are being used for mechanical strength and integrity tests of the complex’s processing equipment and pipelines that require both standard and high-pressure, 100% oil-free air.

Tests involving use of the compressors and dryers, which began in March, will run until late September, Atlas Copco Rental said.

Braskem reported last month that physical construction on the $5.2-billion Etileno XXI project was 92% completed by the end of this year’s first quarter, with precommissioning and testing of equipment and systems at the complex already under way (OGJ Online, May 12, 2015).

The Etileno XXI complex, which remains on schedule for start-up during this year’s second half, will include a 1.05 million-tonne/year ethylene cracker that uses Technip technology; two high-density polyethylene plants with capacities of 400,000 tpy and 350,000 tpy, respectively, based on technology from Ineos; and a a 300,000-tpy low-density polyethylene plant that uses technology from LyondellBassell (OGJ Online, Mar. 31, 2011).

The complex will also house the following installations:

• Storage, waste treatment, and utilities, including a 150-Mw combined-cycle power and steam cogeneration plant.

• A logistics platform for shipment of 1 million tpy of polyethylene via rail, truck, or bagged.

• Administrative, maintenance, control room, and other buildings (OGJ Online, Oct. 5, 2012).

The Braskem-Idesa JV previously signed a 20-year supply agreement with state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos for the supply of 66,000 b/d of ethane based on pricing at Mont Belvieu, Tex., to feed the complex’s cracker (OGJ, July 4, 2011, p. 100).

Contact Robert Brelsford at

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