Promoting Effective Cooling Tower Management

Promoting Effective Cooling Tower Management

The utility of oil and gas refineries heavily relies on large-scale cooling water systems and cooling towers. It is crucial to ensure their proper functioning. Wooden cooling towers require specific treatment processes and must always be kept wet to maintain their longevity. In a particular refinery, BIC Promoter took charge of managing the utility and identified an issue with the cooling tower. Prior to taking any action, two cells of the cooling tower collapsed unexpectedly, posing an emergency situation and raising concerns about potential further damage.


A thorough investigation was conducted by experts, including data collection and consultations with the cooling tower designer and maintenance team. The investigation revealed the following findings:
  • The cooling tower had been left dry for an extended period due to project delays.
  • No preservation measures were taken during the idle period.
  • The quality of the wood used in the tower was not optimal due to a lack of available substitutes.


Given the urgency of the situation, immediate actions were decided upon to address the identified issues. The following steps were initiated promptly:
  • The damaged cooling tower cells were replaced with Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) material.
  • Audits and detailed repair reports were prepared for the remaining cells.
  • Repair work on the remaining cells was prioritized, involving multiple agencies.
  • BIC Promoter proposed an innovative solution to interconnect the cooling towers and connect the return header. This arrangement would ensure that in case of an emergency, the refinery's operations would not be severely impacted, and the load would be shared between the cooling towers.


BIC Promoter's idea was immediately accepted, and the interconnection process began during the upcoming scheduled shutdown, which was expected in a few months. The execution of this plan provided significant relief. The irreparably damaged cooling tower was replaced with FRP material, while repairs on the remaining cooling tower cells were undertaken. Management also decided to gradually replace all wooden cooling towers with FRP material over time.


When issues arise, they can be resolved with out-of-the-box thinking and a solution-oriented approach. This case study exemplifies three categories of actions: emergency response, medium-term measures, and permanent solutions. During emergencies, it is essential to avoid blame and work together to find a resolution, as demonstrated in this case. By embracing innovative ideas and taking prompt actions, emergency situations can be effectively addressed, ensuring the smooth operation of refinery utilities, BiC a service provider for all kinds of such challenges can be considered for help. 


The BiC promoter witnessed the successful transformation of effluent into usable raw material for the cement plant. The project not only resolved pollution-related concerns but also highlighted the importance of teamwork and problem-solving. It demonstrated that with the right mindset and determination, challenges in any industry can be overcome. The BiC promoter has a wealth of experience in tackling such industry-specific challenges and stands ready to assist any industry facing similar issues.

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