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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. Completes Compressor Testing Facilities

Posted on August 23, 2006

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. has completed construction of one of the world's largest testing facilities for ultra heavy-duty compressors at its Hiroshima Machinery Works in Hiroshima prefecture. The new facility can accommodate testing of compressor plants meeting the needs of ethylene plants having production capacities up to 2 million tons per annum (MTPA). In the case of large-scale petrochemical plants, requisite compressor plants generally consist of three or four compressing units and a steam turbine that drives compression units. With the completion of the new facility, MHI will now accelerate its marketing activities focused on ultra heavy-duty compressors.

The standards of the American Petroleum Institute (API) require compressor manufacturers to conduct test operation prior to shipment from the factory. Until now, MHI's testing facility was able to accommodate compressor plants up to the 1 MTPA class ethylene plants. As the petrochemical industry is currently expanding production capacity of their plants in order to cope with sharp increases in oil prices, demand for ultra heavy-duty compressors has been increasing, prompting MHI's decision to build a test facility with a larger capacity.

The testing facility cover an area of 10 000 square meters, is one of the largest of its kind anywhere. Positioned above the basement and pit, which simultaneously accommodate up to four units of ultra heavy-duty compressors, are a gantry crane and a dual-structure booth with movable roof. The testing facility also incorporates various performance testing equipment, a cooling tower and a central control room. Together these enable testing not only of the rotation and performance of the compressor itself but also of comprehensive compressor plant operation by actually connecting compressors and a steam turbine driving the compressors.

The ultra heavy-duty compressor plants to be tested at the new facility are for installation at large-scale ethylene plants (max. 2 MTPA), gas-to-liquid (GTL) plants and LNG plants. The testing facility will soon test-operate a compressor to be used at a 1 MTPA ethylene plant in Saudi Arabia.

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