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SKF S2M Magnetic Bearings boost turboexpander performance for Turbogaz

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    2014 March 25, 14:00 CET

    SKF will supply a major order of SKF S2M Magnetic Bearings to turboexpander manufacturer Turbogaz, boosting reliability and sustainability for the gas industry

    Gothenburg, 25 March 2014: SKF has signed a major contract to supply SKF S2M Ae Magnetic Bearings to Ukranian turboexpander manufacturer Turbogaz, based in Kharkov, helping to improve reliability and sustainability for the gas industry. Nine sets, incorporating a standard electronic control cabinet, will be supplied to Uzbekistan, the largest producer and consumer of natural gas in Central Asia, proving the strength of SKF’s solutions in meeting the needs of this application.

    In turboexpanders - turbines through which high pressure gas is used to separate heavier fractions and drive a compressor - bearings are constantly in direct contact with gas and the harsh environment can accelerate wear and failure.  To meet this challenge, SKF S2M Magnetic Bearings offer a more reliable and oil-free solution for high-speed natural gas turboexpanders, enabling Turbogaz to offer units that are low in maintenance needs.  This is vital for the Uzbekistan contract, since the turboexpanders will be installed on remote natural gas treatment plants located in the desert where accessibility for maintenance is costly. With more than 40 units Uzbekistan will have one of the largest fleets of turboexpanders operating on SKF S2M Magnetic Bearings.
    The SKF S2M Magnetic Bearings set includes two radial bearings (150mm) with built-in detectors and auxiliary (back-up) bearings plus one thrust bearing that can withstand high axial loads.  The bearings have a reinforced insulation to withstand the harsh environment of sour gas. In contrast with oil bearing units they are oil free, which means no contamination to the process fluid, and because there is no lubrication required and no mechanical contact bearing units are virtually maintenance-free.  An SKF S2M Magnetic Bearings unit also acts as a powerful diagnostic tool, monitoring shaft vibrations and temperatures with integrated sensors that would need to be specified and installed separately on oil bearing units. 

    “Turbogaz has been working in close cooperation with SKF Magnetic Mechatronics (S2M) to equip turboexpanders with magnetic bearings for many years,” said Mr Kuprygin, CEO of Turbogaz. “Our first joint project was the development of a turboexpander unit with a production capacity of nine million cubic meters per day. The unit was put into commercial operation in 2007 and has been in service for more than 42 thousand hours since then. Since the launch of the first pilot project, Turbogaz has commissioned 25 turboexpander units, levitated by SKF S2M Magnetic Bearings in Uzbekistan. That proves that we made the right choice by partnering with SKF.”

    The world’s first magnetic bearings turboexpander was commissioned in 1988 and it was the French company S2M, then an SKF subsidiary who pioneered the technology. Today, more than 500 turboexpanders worldwide are equipped with SKF S2M Magnetic Bearings, which have become the industry standard for turboexpanders. Applications include gas treatment, dew point control, ethylene production and others.

    Aktiebolaget SKF

    For further information, please contact:
    Press Relations: Monique Turner, +1 267 436 6836; +1 215 801 8722

    SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2013 were SEK 63,597 million and the number of employees was 48,401.

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