Gardner Denver compressors and dryers prove ‘outstanding’ success for Kuwait refinery plant

The new refining complex, located in Kuwait, is expected to be one of the largest refineries in the world, requiring both compressed air for instrumentation and plant air. A newly installed and highly innovative compressed air and dryer system from Gardner Denver is providing a high quality compressed air solution in the face of extreme outdoor conditions.

Their full range of services with turn-key EPC and EPCI contracts ensure distinctive capabilities and unique assets with high technological content. Managing these projects is a big challenge, many groups are involved – subcontractors, engineering, procurement, logistics, construction, and commissioning.

A Zour Case Study

Being aware of this fact, the joint venture awarded with this project, selected Gardner Denver for instrument and plant air applications within the integrated petrochemical and refining complex. Gardner Denver was the end user’s approved provider and has a good reputation with the EPC team – a member of the joint venture for this project and having worked with Gardner Denver on several projects before with exceptional results. The compressors and dryers had to be completely customized for bespoke requirements due to the hostile environment: high ambient temperature, outdoor location without shelter and high humidity. Only Gardner Denver equipment proved able to endure the extreme conditions of the refinery.

The refinery is located in Kuwait. When completed after 2019, the new complex is expected to be one of the largest refineries in the world, producing 615,000 barrels of oil a day.

The challenge: extreme environmental conditions

The joint venture was open to using various compression technologies in order to achieve their process requirements. However, there was a degree of uncertainty as to which technology, or combination of technologies, would best suit process demands while taking into account a number of considerations, namely: outdoor, high ambient temperature, direct sunlight, sandstorms and reduced noise level requirement.

Engineers needed to select a system that was flexible and able to adapt to changing operating parameters. Being an entirely new plant, there was a lack of certainty as to the operating requirements demanded by the process, meaning that plant engineers would likely have to tune and adjust parameters.

A Zour Case Study

Finding the solution

The team at Gardner Denver worked with the customer to evaluate a range of compression solutions to see which would most effectively meet the customer’s needs; while working within the process and under extreme environmental conditions.

Gardner Denver proposed a flexible solution based on 7 CompAir air-cooled, oil-free compressors with a special cooler, fan, and components designed to allow operation at high temperature, plus 6 heatless dryers. This solution is completely innovative, as air-cooled, oil free screw compressor technology is usually not available for high ambient conditions due to high discharge temperatures which may cause damage to the cooling system.

Customized equipment

The compressors were customized due to the high ambient temperatures and other special conditions. The design includes a special cooler, customised fan, and other components. The intake duct was also modified because of the risk of sandstorms – it is over 6 metres in height. For the same reason, cooling air intakes and outlet ducts have sand separators.



In addition, the dryers were also completely customised for low dew point (-40 deg.C PDP) under high-temperature intake air. They were also tailored-made for excellent accessibility contributing to the low maintenance costs.


Reduced noise

Even though these compressors have special cooling systems with a huge amount of cooling air, the noise level is just 81.4 dBA whereas usually, air-cooled compressors deliver noise levels around 90 dBA.

Reliable equipment for the most demanding applications

Two stage, oil-free, screw compressors offer oil-free and silicone-free air. No matter what refinery application, there is a growing demand for higher quality, especially due to growing high temperatures around the world.

The high output, two-stage air-end design provides 100% oil-free and near isothermal compression with high-reliability thanks to constant low temperatures, allowing usage in demanding applications, and in high temperature environments.

Guaranteed efficiency is provided by the excellent IE3 electric motor, along with legal conformity, high reliability and operational safety – great benefits in addition to automated motor lubrication. The sophisticated supplied PLC-based Unit Control Panel comprising of Machine Monitoring System was customised in accordance with project requirements. This controller is extremely user-friendly and allows for an in-depth analysis of the monitored machines.

The result

Our engineers designed a compressor system that provides a secure, weatherproof home for the new equipment whilst simultaneously making life easy for the customer in terms of monitoring their new compressor and the related accessories. The plant is now benefitting from having a correctly-sized air compressor solution which, thanks to CompAir’s oil-free screw compressor technology, ensures quality air in high ambient temperatures, direct sunlight, and sandstorms, as well as operating at reduced noise levels.