Case: SNDP, Tunisia (2019)

Expert engineering makes space where there is none

The customer’s challenge

Our solution

The outcome

Imagine you own an LPG filling plant, responsible for meeting the public's demand for fuel to cook their food and heat their homes – but your production falls short in peak periods, and there's not enough room in your filling hall to expand the capacity.

An image of cylinders on conveyer belt in front of filling machines

This was the dilemma that Société Nationale de Distribution des Pétroles (SNDP) was faced with. MAKEEN Energy's engineers solved the equation.

Outgrowing the filling hall

SNDP's filling plant in Radés, a suburb to the capital Tunis, was unable to fill enough cylinders to satisfy the public's needs at certain times of the year, most notably during Ramadan. The plant already had two filling lines, each with a capacity of 1200 cylinders per hour. They needed to double that number. The problem? There was nowhere near enough room in the existing filling hall for two more lines of the same capacity.

We approached SNDP with a solution: FLEXSPEED. Why build two more filling carrousels, we said, when you can reach your goals with just one? With a capacity of 3200 cylinders per hour, a FLEXSPEED line would more than satisfy SNDP's customers. In order to install the FLEXSPEED, as well as additional LPG pumps and compressors, the filling hall still had to be extended - but by a much shorter length. Add in the reduced need for manpower and lower energy consumption and you can see why SNDP decided to go with this solution.

Complete engineering and delivery

To ensure a smooth procedure, SNDP asked MAKEEN Energy to take charge of the engineering and supervision of the entire project: civil works, piping, electricity, automation, and instrumentation - along with delivering and installing equipment, of course. All in all, a complete turnkey project. MAKEEN Energy has accumulated rich experiences with engineering and handling large and complicated solutions, so we welcomed the task with open arms.

The first part of the project consisted of extensive preliminary studies where our engineers devised the optimal solution. With a clear plan in place, we began to identify subcontractors and sub-suppliers in the area, giving priority to local companies. In the end, we managed to complete the project by exclusively employing local, Tunisian manpower.

A side issue arises

The greatest challenge for this project was related to the design of LPG cylinders in Tunisia. Their side-entry valves and collars meant that special filling heads had to be made, as FLEXSPEED filling heads are usually designed for centre valves. Side-entry valves demand that each cylinder enters the filling carrousel at exactly the right orientation for the filling head to snap on.

However, our team was able to draw on the experiences of their colleagues from a project in Bolivia that dealt with the same problem. Just one of the perks of being a global company with hundreds of projects under its belt! With this help, our team was able to tailor a FLEXSPEED system that fits the Tunisian LPG cylinders perfectly.

A picture overlooking a filling plant

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