Large axial compressors have been widely used in the air separation industry. Now Swedish SSAB, a leading European manufacturer of special steel products, has placed an order with MAN Diesel & Turbo for its latest MAX1 axial compressor technology.
“This will very much improve the cold blast supply at our steel works in the Swedish town of Luleå”, so Patrik Midebjörk, Blast Furnace Manager at SSAB Luleå. Lothar Wallscheid, heading the basic industries sales segment at MAN Diesel & Turbo, says the compressor will be supplied in a plug-and-play package and SSAB can use an existing electric drive in the market.
For the air separation industry, MAN’s AIRMAX solution includes a main air compressor and a booster compressor. Frame sizes have power requirements of 50MW to 140MW and can achieve combined flow rates ranging from 558,000 m3/hr to 1.5 million. Already 19 units have been ordered for sophisticated air separation projects. Now MAN Diesel & Turbo is offering this technology also optimized for other branches, e.g. iron and steel or the fertilizer industry.
MAN’s contract includes remote diagnostics, auxiliary equipment, spare parts supply and operator training modules.
In initial projects, MAX1 axial compressors and the related blading technology convinced through greatly enhanced power density and performance, while exceeding expectations in terms of reliability. Technology wise, this was achieved by combining compression technology of modern gas turbines with the one of industrial large-volume compressors. Result is a significantly lower power consumption together with a unique robustness along the whole operating range.
The task of the MAX1 compressor in Luleå will be a rather demanding one. Ambient temperatures range from -40° to +30 °Celsius. With blast furnace compression asking for a particular wide operating range, this is supported through quick reaction times and a high availability of the compressor, to serve alternating demands of the steel production process. Commissioning of the current project in Sweden will take place in the second quarter of the year 2018.