It is with great satisfaction that we announce that on May 7th, 2020 the surge test of the turbo-set of the 1500 MTD nitric acid plant of Navoyazot (Navoz, Uzbekistan) has successfully passed. Following the surge test, the turbo-set has been operated to blow the main process lines, and on 13th May, 2020 the blowing has been completed successfully.
The turbo-set is a big and complex machine that lays at the heart of the nitric acid plant and it was supplied by MAN Turbo. It is composed by a steam turbine, an air compressor axial type, a nitrous gas centrifugal compressor and a tail gas expander.
In middle of March this year, when the test was imminent, the rapidly spreading coronavirus pandemic forced MAN to demobilize their personnel at Navoy thus resulting in unknown delays and unexpected additional costs for the whole project. To avert such seriously negative consequences, Casale and MAN immediately devised and rapidly put in place an alternative plan in view of attempting to commission the machine with remote supervision by MAN’s engineers.
This was a bold decision since such an attempt was never done before by MAN, for a machine of such complexity and size. Everything had to be studiously planned and carefully put in place taking all precautions to avoid unnecessary risks for the personnel and the equipment. Four Teams were immediately assembled which started to closely cooperate, respectively at MAN’s premises in Germany and their Bulgarian subsidiary, plus the Casale team in Lugano and Casale’s commissioning team at site. In addition, one control engineer was sent at site with a private charter flight since all regular connections were cancelled due to the pandemic.
The machine was connected via web with MAN’s central office so that it could be commissioned, operated and controlled remotely throughout the whole procedure.
All teams worked in close connection and seamless co-ordination, day by day with professionality, dedication and strong commitment, and under stress, considering the circumstances, for the fulfillment of this critical task on such complex and interdisciplinary equipment.
Navoyazot’s 1500 MTD nitric acid plant is now therefore one step closer to the start up, scheduled by the end of this month of May.