Brought online in 2014, the petrochemicals plant in the port city of Aktau on the banks of the Caspian Sea is a showcase project for Kazakhstan's continuing development. The plant takes heavy crude oil arriving via pipeline from Karasanbas and turns it into a range of oil products, including 400,000 tons of valuable bitumen.
Heating technology from BARTEC
As bitumen only remains liquid and therefore conveyable at a certain storage temperature of up to +180 °C, electrical trace heating plays a vital role. In order to avoid both functional and economic risks, client CASPI Bitum called upon BARTEC's team of experienced experts. The challenge was to complete this major project in just five months, from the engineering and supply, installation including power supply, cable routing and control, all the way to commissioning and documentation.
Superior trace heating
500 detailed technical drawings and 2,000 man-hours are evidence of the scale of the task that BARTEC successfully completed, as requested, in just five months. The team consisted of eight engineers, three logistics managers, four construction managers and 45 fitters, as well as a quality manager and safety officer assigned to each group. The components from BARTEC, which consume a total of 1.7 megawatts of power, are used in a wide range of areas. As well as in the production, storage and transport of B the bitumen, these also include pumping stations, pipelines for crude oil and refined products, as well as the gas flare and loading stations for trucks and trains.
Ingenious solutions save costs
The BARTEC team used three different heating tapes and cables. depending on the requirements. Around the bitumen production area, they installed single-core heating cable with mineral insulation. This is particularly robust and therefore requires no additional protection. This solution also ensures constant power output per metre and is highly resistant against chemicals and stress corrosion. In order to provide frost protection for the eight kilometres of pipeline in the depot for light distillates and gas oils, as well as the pumping stations and diesel loading stations, BARTEC installed self-limiting parallel heating tapes that can be used without temperature limiters, even in hazardous areas. This also saves both material and costs, especially as the parallel power supply allows the heating tape to be conveniently cut to any required length.
The third and final type consists of the extremely flexible and equally resistant heating cables with polymer insulation. They allow heating circuits of over a kilometre in length to be constructed, meaning the project team was able to save around 60 kilometres of supply and control cable on the main line compared to original estimates.
For the new bitumen plant in Aktau, BARTEC planned and installed trace heating solutions with a total length of 48 kilometres. On top of this came 600 Ex e terminals, 16 control cabinets and 40 kilometres of power supply and control cable. The successful realisation of this project allowed the world market leader in explosion protection to once again prove its expertise and ability to meet the most diverse requirements of the global markets.