Siemens wins $30mn deal from Ecopetrol for water treatment at Colombia refinery

The industry automation division at Siemens will equip the Reficar refinery in Cartagena, Colombia, with an integrated water treatment solution, the company announced on Thursday.

The deal is worth over $30 million, the company said, and will form the heart of a combined system for treating both process and waste water.

Siemens technologies will be applied to prepare river water for use as boiler feed water, and to purify wastewater before discharge, for example.

It is part of a project to expand and modernize the refinery, which is scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2013.

Siemens says it will supply a multi-component solution for treating the process water in the Reficar refinery.

These include contact basins for softening the water and a J-Press filter press for thickening the accumulated primary sludge.

Siemens will also provide plants for desalinating the boiler feed water and treating waste lye. The condensate is to be cleaned with granular, active charcoal filters.

The wastewater from the refinery will also be purified by a multi-stage system. To start with, API (American Petroleum Institute) separators and DGF (dissolved gas flotation) systems will separate the oil from the water.

An Omniflo sequencing batch reactor will handle the biological purification before the Hydro-Clear sand filter employs gravitational filtration in the tertiary stage. Centrifuges will be used to dewater the sludge.

The expansion project will not only double the capacity of the refinery to 165,000 bpd, but also produce better quality, low-sulfur fuel. This will improve the fulfillment of national and international environmental directives.

Refineria de Cartagena S.A. (Reficar) is a subsidiary company of Ecopetrol S.A., Colombia's largest oil and gas corporation. It produces 60% of the country's total oil and gas.

As the fourth largest oil corporation in Latin America, Ecopetrol is also involved in drilling and production projects in Brazil, Peru and the US Gulf of Mexico.

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