A client was evaluating a used plant for an expansion project. Of course it was advertised as a great deal, much less than a new plant. It’s nameplate capacity was consistent with the client’s planned expansion so all looked good on the surface. The client hired RCE to take a technical look at the plant in line with their basis of design. RCE found a number of things that were serious issues, most notably the inlet compressor and the cooling water system. The inlet compressor was designed for a higher suction pressure than was going to be available at the client’s new site. This would reduce the throughput by 32% from the design rate.

The plant was located in Canada and was going to be relocated to a much warmer location where the cooling water temperature would operate about 15F higher. The higher cooling water temperature would cause a 11% reduction in throughput due to refrigeration limits caused by warmer cooling water temperatures.

These two issues plus other smaller issues combined certainly made an impact on the “great deal”. The great deal quickly became the not so great deal. Be aware of what you are buying. Do your “homework” and make sure the great deal is not a big mistake.