SGS Provides Third-Party Services for UTC Heat Exchangers at REFAP Refinery in Brazil

SGS was awarded a contract to conduct on and off-site inspection and testing on heat exchangers at the Refap refinery in Brazil by UTC.
May 17, 2013 - PRLog -- SGS was awarded a contract to conduct on and off-site inspection and testing on heat exchangers at the Refap refinery in Brazil by UTC, a diversified company providing a broad range of high-tech products and services to the global aerospace and building systems industries, in January 2012.

Since then, an on-site SGS mechanical team has been opening, inspecting and testing heat exchangers. The agreement is scheduled to expire in December 2013.

Heat exchangers or changers, which efficiently transfer thermal energy from one medium to another, are common and essential equipment in chemical and petrochemical plants. Constructive and operational characteristics determine which qualify as pressure vessels under the Brazilian NR-13 regulations and therefore require initial safety inspections prior to operational use. SGS was chosen by UTC decision makers due to the extensive experience and unrivaled competence in projects of this kind.

Refap, UTC & Petrobras  

The Refap refinery, located in Canoas, Rio Grande do Sul state, is the fifth-largest refinery in the Petrobras system in Brazil with an installed capacity of 200,000 b/d of oil. Dated January 2011, the original contract between UTC, Refap and Petrobras Engineering set out to construct a new on and off-site diesel hydrotreating unit (UHDT ll) to enable the production of a more pure diesel with sulfur content reduced from 500 to 10 parts per million (ppm) and meet the requirements of the domestic and international markets.

Since the beginning of the year, SGS engineers have been opening, inspecting and testing heat exchangers at the Brazilian location. SGS services will include opening the equipment covers, removing the tubular bundle, measuring the thickness and performing a hydrostatic test and closing the equipment covers. Certain types of heat exchangers may require up to three pressure tests on the hull, bundle and floating lid. Depending on the size and location of the heat exchanger, removing the bundle might only be possible with the implementation of a bundle-puller, a load-bearing device for bundles weighing less than five tons with a length of up to five meters and installed higher than ground level. Bundle-pullers reduce risks associated with this activity, such as danger to personnel and damage to equipment.

In the Refap project, SGS will have twenty-one on-site and two off-site exchangers requiring bundle-pullers. Bundle-pullers are exclusively operated by highly-trained professionals to provide a safe work environment and enable quality inspection ( ( and testing.

SGS Heat Exchanger Life Assessment System (HELAS)  
SGS HELAS ( ( has been developed to quickly and efficiently inspect heat exchangers in which corrosion is expected only on inside tubing. Data collected is directly analyzed to produce a complete life time assessment of the inspected heat exchangers to include a wall thickness report. HELAS measures the ultrasonic immersion length converted into corrosion depth on the inside of cooling water and air fin tubes. Based on the highest value of corrosion measured, extreme value analysis is performed to estimate the remaining life-expectancy of the heat exchanger by evaluating the maximum possible corrosion depth throughout the heat exchanger. SGS offers a comprehensive inspection and testing services package in and around heat exchangers to provide complete, easily accessible and ready to use data.

In Brazil, SGS inspectors are conducting safety inspections before heat exchangers are put into use at the Refap refinery to ensure safe and reliable operations. SGS is extremely pleased to have been chosen for this project and looks forward to a successful project completion.

For further information, please contact:

SGS Industrial Services

Marcio Freitas
Industrial Services Director
SGS – Brazil
Av.: Andrômeda, 832 – 6º andar
CEP 06473-000 – Alphaville - Baruerí/SP
t: +55 11 3883 8878

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 75,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,500 offices and laboratories around the world.
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