Air Products now commissioning air separation unit at Coega

BY SUPPLIED - SEPTEMBER 1, 2014

Air Products South Africa has started commissioning its R300-million air separation unit (ASU) in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), Engineering News reports.

It quotes MD Mike Hellyar as saying that the project is “about 95% complete and we anticipate that the ASU will come on stream soon and will be in full production in the last quarter of 2014”.

It will be the first ASU to be commissioned in the Eastern Cape.

The publication quotes the company’s on-site GM Rob Richardson as saying that there are several phases to the commissioning process.

They include the starting up of utilities, such as the electrical systems and commissioning the process cooling water system, both of these milestones having been reached last month.

Richardson says the next phase involves turning over the compressors and starting the large electric motors.

“The final phase is the cool down phase, which involves starting the refrigeration systems and expansion turbines that generate the cold to liquefy the air.”

As with AFROX, that has also invested in the Coega IDZ, the project, which got underway in 2012, also involved the transportation of the cryogenic distillation plant being transported from the Port of Ngqura to the IDZ.

AFROX announced earlier this week that what it described as the “heart” of its operation had made the five-kilometre trip from the port to site.

Richardson says in addition to the system imported through Ngqura, two storage tanks for liquid oxygen and liquid nitrogen were transported by road from Johannesburg.

About 55% of the ASU’s content has been produced locally, including the bulk of the utilities equipment, such as the cooling water system equipment and electric motors.