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Retrofitting a Fertilizer Plant’s Outdated Turbomachinery Controls

Discover how CCC’s automated turbomachinery controls helped a fertilizer plant reduce energy wastage and mitigate safety risks.

Our client has been its country’s sole producer of compound fertilizers, calcium ammonium nitrate and nitro phosphate for more than four decades. Along with fertilizer production, it is also a recognized domestic leader in emissions reduction. The company’s plants have undergone significant modernization efforts designed to minimize environmental impact while maximizing output.

As part of this modernization initiative, the producer invited CCC to perform a comprehensive site survey. During this process, our experts identified key shortcomings in the plant’s turbomachinery safety, controls quality, reliability, availability and energy efficiency. The obsolete controls were used on several machines in the plant, including the Process Air Compressor (PAC) and the dual turbine-driven Synthesis Gas Compressor (SGC). Both control systems were targets of our retrofit project.

The Challenge

The plant’s pneumatic surge control had long been obsolete, leading to sluggish control responses, a widened surge control margin and mandatory human intervention, which resulted in unnecessary, energy-wasting blowoffs for the PAC. For the SGC, this disjointed approach threatened the stability of the medium-pressure steam header.

Beyond these issues, our expert also identified a critical operational safety risk: The mechanical overspeed trip system produced an unreliable, non-replicable and inconsistent trip speed that endangered both site personnel and machinery. 

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The Solution

To help the plant optimize its energy consumption and output, our experts replaced obsolete controls with CCC’s Total Train Control® (TTC) solution. By integrating turbine speed and extraction (for the SGC), antisurge and performance capacity controls, the solution enhances control precision and stability — both lacking in the obsolete system. With CCC’s TTC, the PAC was able to eliminate blowoffs, saving energy through steam consumption reduction. The TTC’s advanced surge control technologies delivered a reliable, multi-layered, field-proven approach to controlling surge and automating controls. This vastly improves safety, reliability and availability while reducing human intervention. The strategically coordinated and fine-tuned speed and extraction controls between the high-pressure and medium-pressure turbines of the SGC stabilized the medium steam header pressure and improved turbomachinery operational efficiency.

To complete the retrofit, CCC replaced the plant’s mechanical overspeed protection with 2oo3 Guardian Electronic Overspeed Detection Systems (ODSs) for both the PAC and SGC turbines. This resolved the trip-speed safety issues identified during our site evaluation while increasing turbine safety, reliability and availability against turbine overspeed.

The Results

By replacing obsolete, ineffective turbomachinery controls with CCC’s best-in-class automated systems, the client experienced quantifiable environmental and operational benefits. 

CCC’s TTC enhanced response times, optimized the surge margin and resolved key areas of energy wastage. These fully-automated controls also eliminated required human intervention, freeing up the plant’s personnel for other critical tasks. CCC’s ODS increased turbine overspeed protection’s reliability and availability, which improved turbine operational safety and opened the door to increased output. Within the SGC, CCC’s coordinated turbine controls stabilized steam-header pressure, further reducing energy wastage.

The two-machine retrofit allows our client to continue leading the charge in both domestic fertilizer production and emissions reduction.


Is your operation relying on an obsolete, manual controls strategy? Discover how CCC’s best-in-class turbomachinery controls can reduce energy wastage, enhance safety and optimize operational efficiency. Trust our experts to show you the way, Contact CCC today 

MEDIA CONTACT | | Marium Jacobs | 713-701-8097

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