Producing sustainably

Producing sustainably

Producing sustainably
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John Cockerill’s technological solutions are designed to produce without distroying. They aim to secure production and infrastructure capacities while minimizing the use of resources, energies, and waste throughout their life cycle. In this perspective, in 2019, our teams have:
– Improved the efficiency and consumption of a surface treatment plant (France)
– Improved the yield of a nuclear power plant (France)
– Installed an acid regeneration solution in a steel pickling plant (China)
– Replaced three petroleum coke boilers with two combined cycles using natural gas (Canada)

Greener surface treatment

A longer service life for materials

Treating surfaces – cleaning them and applying a coating – gives materials new properties and a longer life. Specitubes primarily supplies the aerospace, pump, automotive and nuclear industries with tubes made of stainless steel, titanium and nickel alloys. In 2019, it called on John Cockerill to redesign one of its titanium tube processing facilities. These tubes are intended for particularly demanding applications in aeronautics.

Less water, more capacity, maximum safety

Michaël, the Project Manager, and the teams are proud of the result: “By rethinking the material flows and the operator interventions, we were able to multiply the capacity of this surface treatment line by 2.5. At the same time, we managed to divide the need for rinse water by 3.5. We made it a point of honor to design a process that ensures excellent work ergonomics and maximum safety, to the great satisfaction of the operators.”

And in Mexico...

In 2019, Sarrel, Europe’s leading plastic electrolytic metallization company, commissioned John Cockerill to design and install its new surface processing plant in Mexico. Enough to meet not only the local needs of the automotive industry, but also those of the electronics, the electrical appliances and the perfumery industries.

John Cockerill is a world leader in surface treatment, with teams in China (Cockerill Tempro), Finland (Galvatek) and France (CMI Sleti). Our Group also has the necessary expertise in the treatment of air and liquid effluents to allow us to offer truly global solutions.

Contribution to nuclear performance in complete safety

The strictest requirements

The EDF nuclear power plant at Cattenom had to replace the six low-pressure heaters in Unit 1 during a shutdown in 2019. A delicate operation that considerably increases the efficiency of the plant: this equipment is used to heat the water that feeds the steam generators. The requirements governing nuclear operators are the most stringent, and they only entrust this important work to certified partners who have proven their professionalism. EDF chose to entrust this operation to John Cockerill.

Operational security, efficiency of the facility

Claire, Project Manager Engineer: “These heaters are impressive: 12 m long and 25 tons each! We carefully prepared the site, and dismantled any equipment that hindered their extraction. We then set up a 140 tons frame to facilitate the lifting and removal. The brass tube beams were replaced by stainless-steel tube beams to obtain a better performance. The strength of John Cockerill was played to the full, with each of eight Business Units bringing in their own specific expertise.

And then,” continues Claire, “because safety is our priority, we organized a challenge between the teams. It was a fantastic experience. We are proud to provide solutions for nuclear power that enable it to produce more electricity with the same infrastructure, and with the rigorous security for which we are renowned. As long-time partners, our fully trained and qualified staff carry out work on all the power plants in Belgium and France.

Recycle 100% of the pickling acid in the steel industry

No lost acid

Like all other steelmakers, Baowu uses hydrochloric acid to pickle the metal sheets that it produces. An acid that can be regenerated to almost 100%. Until now, this member of China’s largest steel group has been recycling some of its acid using an old technology. They were looking for a greener solution. In 2019, they found it with John Cockerill.

An unrivaled environmental performance

Michael, Managing Director of CMI UVK, responsible for the marketing of the Group’s Acid Regeneration Plant (ARP), talks passionately about this: “The technology applied by John Cockerill enables the recycling of almost 100% of the spent acid. The way in which we rapidly cool the fumes and clean them guarantees ultra-low emissions that are unmatched on the market. The preheating of the combustion air saves energy and reduces the CO2 emissions. One of the two installations that we are currently building for Baowu is the largest facility in the world. It processes the acid from three different stripping entities, using a single control room. The recovered low-dust iron oxide is recycled in other industrial processes.”

Steel lines suitable for new generation steels?

In 2019, JSW, a major Indian steel producer, entrusted John Cockerill with the construction of a new continuous annealing line suitable for the latest generation of steels: more resistant. Thanks to the mastery of all the key equipment used, including the crucial cooling stage, the line shores up the strength of the steels produced. This is the 10th processing line order that John Cockerill has received from JSW. Quite a vote of satisfaction … and trust!

Allowing industry to contribute to the energy transition

Energy transition: less carbon energy

Suncor, a Canadian oil company, is mindful of its environmental footprint. The steam requirements for oil sand operations were met by three petroleum coke boilers that were approaching the end of their service lives. Rather than renew them, the company chose to replace them with two combined cycles using natural gas. These will produce the steam that is used directly for the site’s own needs, as well as providing electricity, thereby contributing to Alberta’s energy transition process, which is still heavily dependent on coal.

8% of the electrical needs of Alberta

Olivier, Proposal Manager: “Replacing petroleum coke with gas is a virtuous act: it reduces the CO2 impact by 40%, as well as reducing undesirable substances such as sulfur, particulate matter or heavy metals. Mitsubishi turbines release combustion gas at 700°C. We collect it in our boilers to produce steam. And, in order to be at the top of the world’s environmental standards, we’ve added selective catalytic converters to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.” These two combined cycles will provide the Province of Alberta with 800 MW of electricity, which corresponds to 8% of its electricity needs, or the consumption of some 500 000 households.

As the world’s third-largest supplier of heat recovery steam generators, John Cockerill has built hundreds of combined cycle boilers worldwide. It is currently designing them for Canada, Slovenia, South Korea and the USA.

Using steam to desalinate seawater in the United Arab Emirates?

The After-Sales team of John Cockerill Energy operates all around the world to optimize and upgrade existing boilers: in Algeria, Chile, France, Indonesia, Turkmenistan, the UK, etc.

In 2019, it mainly carried out work on the boiler of the Fujairah Combined Cycles Station (United Arab Emirates), a station dedicated to desalination of seawater and the provision of drinking water. “It’s a first of its kind,” says Habib proudly. We designed 4 heat recovery units and carried out the engineering work, supplied them, supervised their construction, inserted them at the outlet of the 4 existing boilers and ensured their correct start-up. Each can be considered as a mini-boiler, which produces a new low-pressure vapor by recovering the fumes lost to the exhaust chimney. Thanks to our intervention, the Sembcorp desalination station in the Emirates has seen its performance greatly enhanced.”