Ras az Zawr is an industrial city/zone on the Arabian/Persian Gulf coast in a region that is one of the richest natural and mineral resources areas in the world. One of the key activities within the Ras az Zawr zone is processing of phosphates for use in fertilizers. This involves phosphate concentrate being processed in a fertilizer production facility, consisting of a phosphoric acid plant, a sulphuric acid production facility, an ammonia plant, a DAP granulation plant and co-generation and desalination plants.
Outotec was successful in winning the contact for the sulphuric acid (SA) segment of the project, the largest production facility of its type in one phase in the world. The total investment in the production facility, which includes three SA plants, is approximately $240 million. When complete, the three plants will have a total production capacity of 13,500 tons of sulphuric acid per day. Due to the remoteness of Ras Az Zawr, and the possibilities for issues with multiple suppliers should problems occur, Outotec insisted on single suppliers for each element of the project.
"We didn't have a previous track record with Outotec in Germany, but we had already done business with the company-successfully-in Brazil and Australia, although there was no specific reference to this type of plant," commented WEG general manager energy business, Andreas Schulte Mesum. "However, our project management single contact, allied with single supplier argument was definitely the key to our winning the bid."
The project started in 2006, and is only today nearing completion. The MGWs and HGF type motors are used in the boiler feed water and circulation pumps of the sulphuric acid plant. The higher power (5,200 kW) MAW units are slip ring motors that drive the main blowers in the plant. WEG decided to use slip ring motors controlled by liquid rheostat starters for this application as the blower inertia was large and starting current was an issue. The benefit of starting the main blowers in this way is that the customer can easily control the starting current of the blowers, at the same time handling the very high torques involved.
In addition to the motors and starters, a total of 24 WEG transformers are used to supply and condition electricity to all types of equipment across the whole SA plant, including the WEG MV motors. In common with the MV motors the WEG transformers are designed for use in some of the most demanding operating conditions worldwide in hydro electric plants, desalination systems, oil and gas installations, mining, marine and many more. As evidence of this, WEG recently manufactured and supplied 200-ton transformers-the largest step-up power transformers ever made by the company-for the world's largest hydroelectric plant, Itaipu Binacional, on the Brazil/Paraguay border.
In terms of project support, WEG was active during the project management stage at Ras Az Zawr, managing three different suppliers, and also coordinated with Outotec to ensure that several technical modifications required by the main contractor were actioned promptly and with the required level of customer support. Now that the project is in its start- up phase, WEG is, once again, heavily involved, its co-ordination expertise and technical support being much in demand.
"Once again in a major global flagship project, WEG has demonstrated its ability to provide a package of key products and the project expertise to integrate them at the highest level," Mesum says. "As a result of this, and other similar successes, no one can deny our credentials as a premier global supplier of integrated supply, control and automation solutions to key commodity markets across the world."