Online commissioning of a boiler in Egypt

The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us how to embrace technology and continuously find creative ways to maintain business continuity.  Digital technology has been the buzz word for a long time in the business; even then, we had to improvise it in the face of the pandemic and adapt to changing dynamics. The scenario has propelled organisations to unlearn and learn ways that can redefine their processes, digitalise most of their functions and acquaint themselves with new ways of working to stay relevant in the ecosystem.

Thermax is progressively using smart technologies, robust IT infrastructure and gadgets to enhance customer experience innovatively. It is augmenting its digital capabilities and adapting to the new business culture to not only improve efficiency, cost and time for customers but for employees as well.

Recently, Thermax’s TBWES (Thermax Babcock and Wilcox Energy Solutions) team commissioned a large auxiliary boiler online for a customer located in Egypt with the team working remotely from India.

Project Highlights:

  • Commissioned auxiliary boiler capacity of 1 x 50 TPH natural gas, acetone and water gas fired boiler
  • The commissioning of the project was done within the stipulated time
  • The team was available 24×7 to handle customer queries through Microsoft Teams and solved their problems on time
  • Customer is satisfied with remote commissioning as the team could meet contractual obligations

Challenges: The commissioning group often face challenges for providing support to customers due to tight schedule, lesser manpower and sometimes visa issues (in case of customers based out of India).

In the last few months, COVID -19 outbreak has brought all activities to an abrupt halt at most of the sites. With strict travel restrictions in place, it was impossible to monitor the commissioning work at customer locations physically. As an alternative to onsite support, TBWES team explored the possibility of online commissioning through various platforms, including TeamViewer, Microsoft Teams, Grafana Portal, among others.

Approach: Online operations and commissioning was conceptualised and implemented successfully in the current situation at the customer site, keeping all safety factors pertaining to people and machinery intact to avoid any kind of accident.

Details such as commissioning process, SOPs, O&M manuals and job specific protocols along with checklists were provided to the customer before commissioning. Additionally, live view of DCS (Data Collection System) for monitoring, observations and recommendations were carried out online as well.

So far in the project, the team has completed the refractory dry out, Alkali boil out and steam blowing procedures at the site.


  • Through remote commissioning, the customer is simultaneously getting trained on Thermax’s products. This will help to reduce frequent travel to sites for any breakdowns and troubleshooting.
  • Increased productivity with multiple site support from head office
  • Online commissioning resulted in substantial cost savings
  • Unnecessary site visits of commissioning engineers, which happened otherwise in cases of incomplete erection or non-availability of clients’ inputs, are now completely eliminated.

Driving productivity in Mzuri Sweets from a distance

Mzuri Sweets Ltd. is a major player in the confectionery industry in Kenya. The company manufactures high quality gumballs, bubblegum, candy and lollipops, all under the signature brand, Mr. Berry’s. The company’s commitment towards quality has enabled it to thrive in a market, previously dominated by both foreign and local confectionery multinationals.

In light of the pandemic-induced lockdown, Thermax helped Mzuri Sweets prepare for a proper shutdown and safe restart. Thermax’s technical intervention ensured continuous operation and productivity at the plant amidst the crisis.    

Thermax’s chillers cooling the plant floors

Mzuri Sweets is known for deploying advanced technologies in its manufacturing plant to achieve the best quality production. In line with its commitment towards quality, the company had sought Thermax’s cooling solutions for comfort cooling its premises. Hence, Thermax had commissioned a double effect steam fired vapour absorption chiller at the manufacturing facility in early 2016. The chiller’s performance has been good ever since the commissioning and the company was immensely satisfied with its operation.

Temporary lockdown in response to government guidelines

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe, the Kenyan government announced a 20-day lockdown across the country. The sudden announcement presented Mzuri Sweets with a significant operational challenge. The company was looking for ways to properly shut down the manufacturing plant – all the while preparing for a quick rebound after the 20 days of inactivity. The immediate crisis pushed the plant operators to quickly find ways of sustaining their operations while mitigating operational risks.

Service via ROSS: Re-imaging chiller monitoring and control

In order to ensure a smooth startup and avoid any mishaps in the future, the plant operator contacted Thermax for proper shutdown of the chiller. The conventional way of shutting down the chiller would have been to visit the site, monitor the chiller parameters, and implement the shutdown procedures.

With travel restrictions and social distancing measures in place, visiting the plant was out of the question. This is when Thermax’s cloud-based chiller monitoring system – ROSS (Remote Online Service Support) proved useful in controlling the chiller while being far away from the site. The capability to remotely monitor the parameters, status, and usage of the chiller ultimately ensured a smooth shutdown and startup at Mzuri Sweets.

Implementing chiller shutdown procedures

After analysing the operational conditions of the chiller, Thermax’s technical service expert communicated standardised shutdown procedures to the plant operator at Mzuri Sweets.

  • Complete dilution of the chiller to bring LiBr to room temperature
  • Isolation of steam inlet and outlet valves to ensure maximum productivity once the plant operations are restarted
  • Breaking chiller vacuum
  • Shutdown of diaphragm valves

ROSS’s assistance in reviving plant operations

After the short-term inactivity, when the plant operations at Mzuri Sweets resumed, our service expert intervened again for a smooth rebound. As the operations began to normalise, Thermax’s assistance towards achieving pre-shutdown productivity at Mzuri Sweets included the following recommendations:

  • Maintenance of inlet cooling water temperature to prevent high scaling and generation of non-condensable gases
  • Regular scheduling cooling tower service
  • Periodical cleaning of water strainers

Shutdown and revival service support benefits

By clearly analysing, communicating, and enforcing the best shutdown and revival practices, Thermax’s service enabled Mzuri Sweets to enjoy the following benefits:

  • Access to the same expertise as on-site services
  • Decreased amount of downtime
  • No loss of production
  • Achieve pre-lockdown productivity when the operations resumed
  • Operational enhancement by means of dilution and maintenance
  • Increased chiller reliability

Combining chiller monitoring technology and service excellence, Thermax has ensured operational continuity at Mzuri Sweets.  The thorough analysis and great co-ordination between the teams from Thermax and Mzuri kept the plant up and running, despite the unavailability of a chiller expert on premises. By leveraging ROSS, Thermax assures excellent service support for continued productivity in industries even in situations of utmost uncertainty.

Thermax’s remote monitoring service prevents downtime and maintains productivity at CBL Global Foods

CBL Global Foods Ltd., manufacturer and exporter of coconut-based products, is a group company of the legendary Ceylon Biscuits Limited in Sri Lanka. The company is known well in the country for its ‘Sera’ coconut milk, organic coconut milk, coconut water and juices. Being a primary exporter of coconut products to Europe & Asian countries, CBL Global Foods Limited has in place a sophisticated plant dedicated to steam infusion and downstream homogenisation process.

Thermax’s chillers at CBL Global Foods

With the island nation implementing stringent legislation and standards for the food industry, CBL Global Foods introduced a few changes to its food processing operations. As a part of the revamp, the company replaced its cooling machinery with two of Thermax’s steam fired vapour absorption chillers each of 98 TR capacity. The chillers cater to the process cooling of coconut milk in pasteurisers and comfort cooling at the plant. Regarding the chillers, “We are glad to record that since their erection from 2015 onwards, the chillers are in continuous operation to cater to the plant’s chilling load and we are satisfied with the efficiency and performance of the machines,” says Gihan Samaraweera, Assistant Engineering Manager at CBL Global Foods. The chillers are connected to ROSS (Remote Online Service Support) and are under constant monitoring by Thermax’s service team.

Spotting potential problem in the chiller

On 17th August 2019, ROSS displayed a temperature deviation in the chiller at CBL Global Foods’ plant. The outlet temperature was at 6.8°C against the designated 2°C. The defect, if left unnoticed, would have led to an inevitable loss of productivity since cooling is an important procedure in coconut milk processing. Our technical service team logged into the chiller and analysed its previous data logs. The ROSS reports traced back the issue to irregular purging and blowdown of the machines. Failure to perform blowdown in the chillers often results in slow down of operations. In addition, the inlet cooling water was sent at a temperature higher than the designated 7.1°C.

The issue was communicated to the operator and was addressed on the same day. Towards the evening of 17th August, the chiller’s outlet temperature was brought down to 1.8°C against a setpoint of 2°C. The temperature deviation possessed the potential to result in a 3-day downtime of the plant’s processes. Detection of aberration in the chiller parameters and identification of the root cause well in advance prevented unwanted downtime and huge maintenance costs to the company. Quick intervention by the service team with accurate information at the right time led to an uninterrupted production process at CBL Global Foods. Speaking on ROSS, “We also like to express our appreciation to their Technical Services team for providing digital services via internet with their innovative and advanced technology. In the past one and a half years, their smart services had helped us maintain 100% uptime of the machines. We are excited and pleased to use this facility and would recommend ROSS to other organisations for using Thermax Absorption Chillers,” added Gihan.

CBL Global Foods having experienced the benefits of ROSS several times and have appreciated Thermax’s Technical Service team for their timely support. ProiCare analytics from ROSS sends automated mails of the daily data logs, fortnight reports, and other alerts, which helps the company maintain a 100% uptime of the machines. Addition of ROSS to the commissioned chillers gives Thermax the opportunity to collect data, check status, predict downtime, recommend solutions and do so much more that industries using chillers never imagined of such a solution. Service with ROSS at CBL Foods Group is another epitome of how Thermax takes customer service to incredible heights.

ROSS – Continuous monitoring with an automated solution

At Thermax, addressing every conceivable factor of customer experience is crucial. Our efforts to offer excellent service coupled with the recent advancements in remote automated solutions gave way to ROSS. It is a system of cloud-based industrial maintenance, which connects installations across the globe to Thermax’s servers. ROSS enables managing and monitoring the chillers with alarms, trend graphs, and reports efficiently. With ROSS, the exact status of the chiller can be monitored anytime, thus offering customer service and chiller maintenance remotely. Machines across the globe can be promptly serviced by engineers remotely at the slightest indication of deviation in its parameters. The system, apart from speeding up the troubleshooting process, completely avoids the chiller’s downtime and call for maintenance.

Thermax’s ROSS simplifies machine monitoring and corrective maintenance at Adam Afrique

Adam Afrique

Adam Afrique is a well-known producer of soaps in the west African country, Ivory Coast. Situated in the industrial zone of the capital city, Abidjan, it is a Limited Liability Company established in 1987. The company uses locally available natural resources to manufacture soaps of exceptional quality. With a rich range of products covering all household needs, the company’s clientele list extends overseas beyond the domestic market.

The latest industrial development and the availability of locally sourced palm oil and coconut oil in the Abidjan region have made it an attractive spot for soap manufacturers. Several soap manufacturers thrive in the area catering to the country’s domestic and export needs. Since the intensity of the competition is high, keeping up the productivity of the soap-manufacturing unit every day is vital for Adam Afrique.

Thermax’s chiller at Adam Afrique

Aligning with the company’s interests to increase production, Adam Afrique collaborated with Thermax to meet the cooling requirements of the saponification process in its plant. On 13th November 2018, Thermax commissioned a double-effect steam fired vapour absorption chiller of 360 TR capacity at their plant. The chiller runs on steam exhaust of a plant process and caters to the cooling section of the saponification process. The chiller has been performing well by delivering chilled water at 10°C since its commissioning. To ensure uninterrupted operation and predictive maintenance, the chiller is connected to Thermax’s cloud-based remote monitoring technology, ROSS (Remote Online Service Support).

Machine monitoring without site visit in real time

On 7th April 2020, an operational issue was observed in the chiller at the plant of Adam Afrique. Our technical service team intervened and logged into the chiller. After a study of the chiller’s latest data logs, a photograph of the recorded parameters on the machine’s Human-Machine Interface (HMI) was requested. Through ROSS, our service engineer was able to monitor the performance of the machine even when it was running. Anticipating a vacuum break in the chiller, our service team instructed the plant operator to perform a vacuum test.

Nitrogen gas at 0.2 bar was charged into the chiller and the test was conducted. The initial pressure at 25mm Hg dropped to 90mm Hg within 12 hours, confirming a leakage in the chiller. The post-detection maintenance measures were communicated remotely to the plant operator. The leak was attended temporarily by fixing with metallic potty and then LiBr was charged into the chiller. After closely monitoring the chiller for 24 hours, the chiller’s operations were declared normal. The timely response and proactive maintenance service by our service team ensured a continued operation at the soap manufacturer’s plant.

Issue analysis and preventive maintenance to reduce downtime

Further analysis to identify the root cause of the issue found that the line of the cooling water inlet and outlet were below the required size at the plant. It was also found that the cooling water temperature in the chiller went as high as 35°C as opposed to the designated 32°C. The root causes were communicated to the customer and the corrective measures to fix them were suggested as well.

ROSS’s excellence building deeper customer relationships

The chiller issue that sprang up unexpectedly in a very crucial moment put the company’s productivity at stake, especially as the production process at their plant is kept up on toes by the competitiveness in the market. ROSS helped the company keep up its pace by providing accurate operational data and remote maintenance.

Highly satisfied with the chiller’s performance, ROSS’s reliability, and the exceptional service experience, Adam Afrique has decided to adopt Thermax’s chillers again in view of their plant expansion.

Mr. A. Mahmoud, Deputy Technical Director at Adam Afrique says, “On behalf of Adam Afrique team, our thanks to Thermax team, for the professionalism displayed throughout this project right from project initiation, delivery commitment, installation support to start up.”

ROSS – Continuous monitoring with an automated solution

At Thermax, addressing every conceivable factor of customer experience is crucial. Our efforts to offer excellent service coupled with the recent advancements in remote automated solutions gave way to ROSS. It is a system of cloud-based industrial maintenance which connects installations across the globe to Thermax’s servers. ROSS enables managing and monitoring the chillers with alarms, trend graphs, and reports efficiently. With ROSS, the exact status of the chiller can be monitored anytime, thus offering customer service and chiller maintenance remotely. Machines across the globe can be promptly serviced by engineers remotely at the slightest indication of deviation in its parameters. The system, apart from speeding up the troubleshooting process, completely avoids the chiller’s downtime and call for maintenance.

A leading paper manufacturing company in the UAE installs Thermax’s chiller-heater

Thermax has successfully commissioned one chiller-heater of 600 TR at Al Dhafra Paper Manufacturing Company LLC, a part of M.A.H.Y. Khoory Group in the UAE. Being one among the most trusted and recognised names in the UAE, M.A.H.Y. Khoory Group is a well-known trading firm that has a strong foothold in the UAE industrial market. A leader in the regional market, the M.A.H.Y. Khoory Group, is a diverse group of companies and business units that bring world-class technology products and services to their clients.

Incepted in the year 2010, Al Dhafra Paper Manufacturing LLC has carved a niche for themselves in Abu Dhabi and has managed to garner utmost client satisfaction. In line with the M.A.H.Y. Khoory Group’s business philosophy of continuous growth, Al Dhafra Paper Manufacturing Company was set up in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to cater to the growing global demand for recycled containerboard. Al Dhafra Paper Manufacturing converts waste paper into recycled testliner and fluting medium to cater to the packaging industry in the UAE and other international markets. Producing 650 tonnes of recycled paper everyday, Al Dhafra Paper mill is fully accredited to the highest standards of environmental and technical safety and is regularly updated to stay on par with the cutting-edge technology.

Extending commitment and dedication towards the environment, Al Dhafra Paper has adopted Thermax’s smart and sustainable solution over the traditional method for their comfort cooling requirement. Thermax’s energy efficient chiller-heater has replaced the existing electrical chiller at Al Dhafra Paper manufacturing facility and has resulted in saving 4.81 million units of electricity annually. Also, this has helped in reducing the carbon emissions by 3,302 tonnes which is equivalent to planting 3,30,240 trees annually.

Thermax’s chiller-heater of 600 TR produces chilled water at 6.6oC, which is circulated through the Air Handling Units (AHUs) catering to their comfort cooling requirements in office buildings, production plant building, panel rooms and drive rooms. Steam, the driving heat source for the chiller-heater is produced using two Danstoker natural gas fired boiler of capacity 40 TPH each. The chiller-heater consumes 2.6 TPH of steam and the balance steam is used in the paper manufacturing process, resulting in zero waste of steam.

The chiller-heater also produces hot water at 90oC, which is used as feed water for the boilers. The boiler is fed with partially heated water, which reduces the consumption of natural gas. 

Project Highlights

Customer AI Dhafra Paper, UAE
Product: One Steam-driven chiller heater
Capacity: 600 TR
Application: Process Cooling/Comfort Cooling

Thermax’s high-efficiency chiller-heater is a lithium bromide-based vapour absorption machine producing chilled and hot water for either cooling or heating as well as both simultaneously. The chiller-heater provides maximum heating capacity in simultaneous cooling and heating mode 75-80% of the cooling load. That is, for every 100 kW of cooling, up to 75 kW of heating can be generated.

Click here to read and download the chiller-heater brochure.

Thermax’s Cinder Recovery System Helped Reduce Loss of Ignition at a Cement Plant in Karnataka

Customer Background and Thermax Partnership: Since 2009, Thermax has been a trusted partner to a reputed cement manufacturer in Karnataka for its 6000 TPD unit, providing Operation and Maintenance (O&M) services for the 2×25 MW captive power plant. The plant has two AFBC (Atmospheric Fluidised Bed Combustion) boilers of 110 TPH capacity each generating steam at 88 ata, 520ºC. 

Problem: The customer had a challenging requirement of optimising the reuse of their hazardous waste viz. fly ash by reducing its carbon content. As a standard practice, the fly ash generated from the boiler is utilised in the cement mill. However, only the fly ash with a Loss of Ignition (LOI- the amount of carbon left in fly ash which has a potential heat value) less than 8% can be utilised, and the rest needs to be disposed of which has several constraints, considering its hazardous nature. 

Further, a high level of carbon content in ash due to Loss of Ignition is undesirable for power plants as it leads to boiler efficiency loss and higher specific fuel consumption.

Approach: To counter this situation, the team conducted an analytical study on factors affecting the increase in LOI. It was identified that LOI was increasing due to insufficient burning of fuel in the secondary part of the boiler. Change in fuel properties also had a significant contribution to the problem.

Solution: Thermax recommended the installation of a Cinder Recovery System to counter the factors leading to a higher LOI in the boiler. This system utilises unburnt carbon in the fly ash by re-firing it in the boiler, which is conveyed through the primary air.

The team made a detailed proposal with a cost benefit analysis of the Cinder Recovery System to the customer. As the system was designed by Thermax’s in-house engineering and commissioning team, the customer was relieved of any risks associated with its performance. The team also modified the intermediate storage of ash, which was resulting in a drop in the temperature of ash. 

This modification, along with the installation of the Cinder Recovery System resulted in a reduction of the LOI from 15-17% to 6-8%, while eliminating the need for disposing of hazardous waste.


  • Reduction of LOI to 6-8% benefited the customer in many ways – they were able to utilise the fly ash in cement mill and saved on the cost of fly ash disposal 
  • Boiler efficiency was improved by 0.5%
  • Heat rate reduced by 45-50 kcal/kWh
  • Fuel saving of approximately 2,250 tons/year was achieved
  • Overall fuel saving resulted in a reduction of carbon footprint by 7,321 tCO2e/year


Thermax Enviro Solutions empowers the oldest Cement Company of Egypt

About Tourah Cement

The Tourah Portland cement Plant, Egypt’s first cement company, was established in 1927. It is owned by Suez Cement company (66.12%). The company consists of two plants located in an area of 10,000,000 m2 in Tourah district with 9 production lines.

The Changing Business Scenario

Driver of the Change: Emission Standards

As global awareness and concerns grew about the Air Pollution and its hazards, Egypt also decided to upgrade the emission standards that a cement plant must meet in order to ensure a cleaner and healthier environment.

As per the changes in the law, any cement company in Egypt must meet the new emission standards of SPM < 20 Mg/NM3 from earlier acceptable limits of SPM< 100 Mg/NM3 resulting into a complete change in the business scenario for Tourah Cement.

Affected Applications, Utilities and Challenges

Application Existing APC
Raw Mill x 2 ESP x 2
Clinker Cooler GBF
Alkali By Pass & Gas Cooling Tower ESP

APC: Air Pollution Control Equipment
ESP: Electrostatic Precipitator
GBF: Gravel Bed Filter

Challenges Associated with Rehabilitation

1. Efficiently meet the expected new emission standards.
2. Minimize capex and downtime of the plant and without disturbing the other operations much.
3. Modifications and additions within the little space available posing as a significant constraint

Solution Offered by Thermax

Thermax studied the requirements of the customer and associated challenges. Based on its years of experience, Thermax Retrofit and Revamp Design team came out with a solution to be executed within 45 days planned shutdown for all the three applications. In order to reduce the Capex, Thermax used its engineering skills so that the existing structures, casing, hoppers etc can be utilized to maximum in the new solution.

Raw Mills (Both) – ESP for replaced with Pulse Jet Bag Filter

Existing Casing was repaired and partition was created to accommodate the new 2 chamber Bag House.
Existing building was strengthened and used.

Clinker Cooler – Gravel Bed Filter replaced with Heat Exchanger & Pulse Jet Bag Filter

Heat Exchanger was provided for Clinker Cooler Gases prior to entering the Bag Filter Chamber.
The Bag filter with six compartments was constructed on the structures of the existing Gravel Bed Filter New Ducting connecting to old discharge system was only used.

Alkali By-Pass & GCT -ESP replaced with Pulse Jet Bag Filter

Existing ESP Support structures & Hoppers were used to construct the New Bag Filter The existing GCT was upgraded to handle dual fuel.

Final Process Parameters

Application Offered Solution Volume(M3/Hr) Temperature(C) Inlet Dust Load(gm/NM3) Outlet Emission Achieved(mg/NM3)
Raw Mill x 2 Pulse Jet Bag Filter 630,000 200 200 < 20
Clinker Cooler Pulse Jet Bag Filter 450,000 120 20 < 20
Alkali By Pass & Gas Cooling Tower Pulse Jet Bag Filter 195,000 200 80 < 20


1. Execution of project covering all the 3 applications completed in the planned shutdown of only 45 days.
2. Equipment handed over after commissioning in just 15 days.
3. CAPEX reduced as per customers expectations by utilizing existing structures to maximum possible.

Project in Pictures

Raw Mill

Clinker Cooler

Alkali By Pass & Gas Cooling Tower

Reduction of Auxiliary Power Consumption for a Cement Plant in Rajasthan

Customer Background and Thermax Partnership: At one of the leading cement manufacturer’s unit at Rajasthan, Thermax is providing Operation and Maintenance (O&M) services for its captive power plant of capacity 21 MW and WHR power plant of capacity 13 MW since 2008. The plant has an 89 TPH AFBC (Atmospheric Fluidised Bed Combustion) boiler and 5 WHR (Waste Heat Recovery) boilers of 72 TPH combined (both boilers are made by Thermax).  

Project Background: Auxiliary power consumption is one of the key performance indicators for a power plant. As a part of the customer’s ‘energy efficiency’ drive, the Thermax team took a target of reducing the auxiliary power consumption to enhance the net power generation. 

Approach: Thermax team conducted a detailed analysis of the equipment data using advanced proprietary tools. They also organised workshops to drill down on the key parameters driving higher auxiliary power consumption.

Specific teams were formed to study:  

  1. Power consumption pattern equipment-wise and area wise 
  2. All possible ideas for improvement

Solution: Thermax team presented a comprehensive plan to the customer for reducing auxiliary power consumption for captive and WHR power plants. The plan included actions with and without capital investments. Over the span of the last two years, various opex initiatives such as ‘auto control logics for flow optimisation’ and capex initiatives such as ‘VFD installation’ were implemented. The customer also agreed for capex investment after being apprised by the Thermax team about the long term savings and lifecycle cost reduction. 


  • For the captive power plant72.4 lakhs of unit cost saved through capex and 18.8 lakhs unit cost saved through opex 
  • For WHR unit 8.7 lakhs of unit cost saved through capex and 1.9 lakhs unit cost saved through opex
  • The total auxiliary power consumption was reduced by 1% for captive power plant and 2.2% for WHR unit 
  • Carbon footprints reduced by 1,200 tCO2e/year for captive unit and 1,300 tCO2e/year for WHR unit



Thermax successfully commissions Asia’s largest energy plant for Greenply industries limited.


Greenply Industries Limited is one of the leading interior infrastructure manufacturing companies in India and is primarily engaged in manufacturing, marketing, distribution of Plywood and Medium Density Fiber (MDF) Boards. The wood industry major has been associated with Thermax Limited for heating solutions for many years.In the year 2009, Thermax commissioned 50 MW Energy Plant in their Uttarakhand plant, which was the first engineered solution by Thermax supplying energy to multiple processes from a single energy efficient system. Reinforcing a decade-long association with Greenply,In March

2018 Thermax has successfully commissioned the second energy
plant of 97 MW. This plant is installed at Greenply’s state of the manufacturing facility for MDF board located at Chittoor,AP,India. It has an annual capacity of 3, 60,000 CBM and is the largest MDF plant in Asia and the fifth largest plant in the world. MDF is made by breaking down wood into fibers which are again combined with adhesives and the end product is formed into panels by applying heat and pressure.MDF boards are increasingly popular in many parts of the world for furnishing offices, schools and homes. Our esteemed customer is one of the market leader in India and have trusted Thermax for their expansion projects. Greenply being the Major plywood manufacturer in India understood the importance of replacing the traditional inefficient wood panels with wood efficient

MDF panels thereby ensuring sustainable economic development with
minimum burden on the environment and trusted Thermax with their

environment-friendly initiative.

Project details

Medium Density Fiber Boards are manufactured from agro plantation wood such as Eucalyptus, Subabul, Casurina etc. Wood logs are chipped and sent to a size separator (screen) where undersize wood chips are separated and reject is used as the fuel in the Energy plant. Then sized wood chips are sent to the Refiner where it is cooked with steam and converted into fibers. The produced fibers are mixed with appropriate resin and passed through the directly heated dryer. Flue gas from the energy plant is blended with ambient air so as to maintain a consistent temperature of hot gas required in the dryer. The dried fibers with appropriate moisture content then pass through a sifter, forming a line and feed to hot press (continuous press) to manufacture required thickness MDF board.

The heat required for the press is supplied in the form of hot thermal oil from the thermal oil heater at Energy Plant. MDF board from the press is further then sent to trimming and sanding system to get the boards of required size with smooth and even surface. The trim waste and sander dust generated in this process are used as fuel for Energy Plant.

3.6Mn capacity MDF Process as Chittoor plant had following heat requirements from Energy Plant. 50 MW for Hot gas at 350 deg C. 32 MW for Steam at 15 kg/cm2 (g) pressure and 15 MW for Thermal Oil at 290 deg C

Total thermal heat output of 97 MW with a solution on a turnkey with engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning. Highest efficiency, lower emission, higher availability, automated control and safety systems were the prime criteria for selection of a supplier for Energy Plant system. Energy plant system should have flexibility in terms of fuel and load modulation/control.

The solution provided by Thermax

The challenge was to design largest capacity Energy Plant of 97 MW capacity and it should have fuel flexibility, highest efficiency, lower emission,higher uptime, automated control and safety systems for emergency situations.The critical components of Energy plant system such as combustor, pressure
parts,emission control equipment and control system were designed keeping in mind the above requirements. Some of the features are illustrated below


Energy plant was required to be designed for multiple fuels like woodchips, Indonesian coal along with process waste chips and sander dust.Traveling grate as combustor was best- suited system and sander dust fired with the burner at a secondary level.The system had refractory line separate combustor without any heat absorption surface which made the system highly flexible. Flue gas generated in the combustor is controlled at 900 deg C and further distributed to three independent system viz. boiler, heater, and hot gas generator

Pressure Part

Heat recovery was entirely done with flue gas mass hence it required a high amount of heat transfer surface area. Membrane panel assembly in the radiation area reduces flue gas temperature before entering into the convection section thus increase availability of the system. A cross-flow configuration convection section helps to get an optimum area. An online soot cleaning system gives better uptime of the system.

Both boiler and thermal oil heater had independent induced draft fan control for steady control on load, higher turndown for the system.

Emission control device

A typically old Energy plant system had dust cyclone which has a limitation in terms of high power consumption of main induced draft fan, frequent cleaning because of choking and higher emission. Thermax had to offer A Electrostatic Precipitator as emission control to address all issues of the cyclone. Overall it was one of its kind and the innovative solution given by any energy plant supplier and was well appreciated by Greenply.

Safety features

Safety is always a prime criterion while designing any system; one has critically studied the emergency situation that can arise during operation of the system. Experience always plays a major role here:
Thermax’s Energy Plant offers high safety standard, and some of them are:

  • Emergency stack to avoid over-pressurization of the furnace
  • Thermal oil emergency cooler to safeguard the fluid
  • Auto-vent valve for the boiler to a safe start and stop of the system.

Impact Created

Thermax’s 97 MW Energy plant has created history in MDF industry with the revolutionary one of its kind energy efficient and environment- friendly system.
Thermax Energy plant utilizes almost all wood waste generated from the process as the fuel thus reduces consumption of fresh wood making it environment-friendly. It assures the highest thermal efficiency of 94% which is a benchmark in the solid fuel-fired systems thus ensures the lowest operating cost.
While catering to varying load fluctuations it has to turn down ratio almost to the tune of 1:5. Independent control of each stream makes the system more flexible.
Our pollution control devise Electrostatic precipitator (ESP) gives lowest emission as compared to conventional systems.
The plant has the highest availability which makes it most economical compared to other competitors.
Thermax’s EP offers a completely automated system with highest safety standards with various emergency controls in thermal oil, steam and hot gas.
Thermax is committed to give the best solutions to our customers, time and again have proven the metal with cutting-edge technology solutions which are energy efficient and cost effective.




Our customer, Asia Silicon (Qinghai) Co. Ltd based in Xining, China placed an order with Thermax for a heat pump with capacity of 4450 kW. The Thermax heat pump was utilized to raise the temperature of waste hot water from 108°C to 152°C leading to optimum utilization of energy.

Asia Silicon (Qinghai) Co. Ltd engages in the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of silicon and poly-silicon products to solar energy equipment makers

Project description

At the customer’s site, the waste hot water at 108°C from the hydrogenation furnace and the reduction furnace is fed to the heat pump and the temperature was raised to 152°C. The saturated vapour at 152°C when cooled to 145°C can be used to heat the hydrogenation furnace and the reduction furnace to help them attain their working temperature (110°C -130°C ) when it is cooled to 145°C. This is an unique application given by Thermax in poly-silicon industry.


  • The installation of our heat pump resulted in saving 30%-40% energy at the customer’s site.
  • The customer was able to make savings of 10-20 % on manufacturing of poly-silicon products.
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