Tube Tech Improves Heat Transfer at a Refinery in Qatar


Tube Tech was contacted by a company with an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract at a petrochemical refinery in Qatar. The refinery required the cleaning of convection section tubes to improve thermal efficiency in the short term before the plant lifetime comes to end in three years’ time.

The Challenge

The refinery was suffering from heavy fouling on the convection section tubes, caused by various factors including poor feed fuel, plus dust and sand from the surrounding environment being sucked into the convection section of the furnace. The fouling was causing a loss of heat transfer which in turn was impacting productivity.

If left in a fouled state, the plant would use more fuel to achieve the required temperature which would be costly and increase carbon emissions. To increase thermal efficiency the refinery required a proven fouling removal solution that could mobilise quickly and clean the tubes with minimal disruption to processes.

The Solution

The company working for the refinery in Qatar had seen Tube Tech’s Rover (ROV) system online and in the field with other clients in Qatar, and was impressed with the technology’s ability to reach in between tube rows to achieve a thorough clean. They also commented on the ROV’s ability to address any unknown fouling deposit characteristics.

Tube Tech were able to swiftly mobilise a team of technicians to the site and complete the entire job within 10 days. This included mobilisation, a Covid isolation period, site set-up, cleaning, final inspections, compulsory rest days, site breakdown, and demobilisation.

The client was impressed with the professionalism and speed of the work carried out, and the final inspections showed that the fouling had been removed from in between the tube rows, restoring heat transfer capability and improving the overall productivity and of the convection section.

Tube Tech Comment

With only three years of this plant’s lifetime remaining, the EPC contractor required the convection section tubes to be cleaned to restore thermal efficiency in the very short term. We are pleased with the results we were able to achieve for the client by using our ROV system that we have developed in-house. It delivers a safe, reliable, and quick clean that targets fouling precisely, using up to 80% less water than traditional water jetting methods.

We’d like to thank the client for choosing Tube Tech, and for trusting us to deliver a high-quality service and excellent results.

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