AFPs, Van Heck’s invisible strength
STADE – A critical situation at the Dow Chemical plant on the Elbe near Stade, Germany, occurred earlier this year. An unfortunate series of events led to a shortage of cooling water. This resulted in the plant only being able run at half of its normal production capacity. The chemical giant quickly came in contact with Van Heck, and before long the factory was fully operational again.
Due to the high tide, which is four to five metres near Stade, the cool-water pumps are located around 250 metres outside the sea dike, at the end of a concrete pier. The strong tidal current meant that the Van Heck technicians had to install the electric pumps at the turn of tide – a precision job, which, thanks to the thorough preparation, only took a few days. By connecting the submersible pumps directly onto the permanent pipeline, the pumps were able to temporarily take over the plant’s cooling facilities. Dow Chemical was exceptionally pleased with the swift response and the tailor made solution that quickly had the plant back at full operating capacity.
The same type of submersible pumps was also used to facilitate the replacement of lock doors in a heavily trafficked canal near Zemst in Belgium. The challenge was to find a way to quickly empty the lock and therefore limit the interference with the shipping traffic as much as possible during the repair work. As this is a single lock in the Brussel-Hingene Maritime Canal, Van Heck carried out the work in the weekend, all according to plan.