With the demands of an extremely short delivery schedule, the risk of performance penalties, and extremely tight production demands, TFL Incorporated has successfully completed a significant order for precast refractory “tunnel tiles”. The shapes were exported to the Caribbean nation of Trinidad, to be used in a new methanol plant being constructed there by a consortium which includes Mitsubishi Corp, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Trinidad’s state-run utility and Trinidad-based Massy Holdings.
TFL was contacted by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), lead construction partner in the US $1 billion project, to manufacture over 900 specially designed refractory tunnel covers. Using innovative molding techniques never before used for this type of shape, TFL was able to hold to the extremely tight dimensional tolerances required by the customer, with repeatability. Plicast HyMOR 3000 KK, a low-cement castable manufactured by Plibrico Company (USA), was selected for use on the project based on its high hot strengths and refractoriness under load. The average weight of the shapes was approximately 225 lbs. All shapes were fired to 1250 deg. F prior to shipment.
Performance incentives and penalties were included in the contract. TFL successfully met or beat all delivery deadlines for the 5 different releases.
The plant is expected to start production in the next few months, and will have a capacity of 1 million tonnes/year of methanol, and another 20,000 tonnes/year for dimethyl ether (DME).
“The TMD project with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries enabled us to really show off our core competencies as a company. It required innovative manufacturing techniques, tight quality control, and responsiveness to both our direct customer and the larger project. It also required that we draw on our years of experience as a precast shape manufacturer to make it all come together”, said Emory Laningham, President of TFL. “We were thankful for the opportunity, and look forward to more projects like this one.”
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