£125m to replace BP’s R22 refrigeration plant

32029635_sUK: Amec Foster Wheeler has been awarded the contract to replace the R22 refrigeration plant at BP’s LPG site in Grangemouth.

The one-year £125m engineering, procurement and construction contract will see the R22 system being replaced by one operating on the HFC refrigerant R410A.

The Kinneil facility was one of a number of large consumers of R22 controversially given temporary exemptions from the European ban on the ozone-depleting HCFC refrigerants.

The existing R22 plant was installed in 1978 and fulfils the natural gas management needs of the Forties pipeline system.

Despite the imposition of a European ban on servicing systems with R22 from January 1, 2015, it was argued that BP Kinneil was vital to maintain the UK’s energy supply. The facility is said to support the transport of around 50% of UK oil production and approximately 25% of the UK gas production depends on the facility being operational.

After appeals to the UK government, BP Kinneil was given an exemption from the HCFC ban (1005/2009) to use 9,000kg of reclaimed R22 up until March 1, next year.

BP claimed it had originally begun the process to assess and identify alternatives to R22 in 2009. It looked at an ammonia CO2 system but this was found to be technically unfeasible and R507, another option, fell foul of the European F-gas regulations due to its high GWP. R410A was then seen as the only economically and technically feasible alternative.

Known as the Chilldown Project, the contract to replace was awarded under Amec Foster Wheeler’s global agreement with BP to provide it with engineering and project management services for the development of onshore facilities around the world. For the Chilldown Project, Amec Foster Wheeler will provide engineering, installation, project, construction and supply chain management services. QEDI, Amec Foster Wheeler’s completions and commissioning specialist, will provide commissioning support.

Related stories:

More users given R22 ban exemptions – January 3, 2015
EUROPE: The European Commission has exempted two more petrochemical facilities from the European HCFC refrigerant ban which came into force on January 1. Read more…

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3 Responses to “£125m to replace BP’s R22 refrigeration plant”
  1. R410A is a 50/50 mixture of R125 and R32. However, R410A has a GWP of 2088 and is a high global warming potential refrigerant. The future approach to regulations for refrigerants is based on the GWP of the refrigerant charge — i.e. the GWP of the refrigerant compared to carbon dioxide multiplied by the refrigerant charge. The future of high GWP refrigerants will be penalised for their high GWP potential. BP seems to be accepting a refrigerant that has a very high potential to be subject to phase down and high refrigerant costs. 2018 looks to be a critical year in the demand/allocation balance and in my opinion BP will regret this choice as a long term solution.

    • 100% correct Craig. What a nonsense this decision is. The industry has phase-down targets based on GWP to CO² emissions and these really cut deep in 2018. BP take a high GWP and high CO² impact refrigerant which is already an “end of life” product. Unless BP own a chemical supplier and therefore have their own GWP/CO² quota then this will impact on the rest of the trades who are impacted directly by this phase down. Who made this ridiculous decision?

  2. Grunchard says:

    It is strange that propane was not envisaged among the R22 alternatives, especially since the plant is a LPG unit.

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