TTIL restore performance of Malaysian Refining Company’s Texas Tower and crude heater

Tube Tech International (TTIL) was contracted by a refining company, manufacturing and selling petroleum products in Malaysia, that was experiencing poor performance in some of its key heat transfer assets. Our specialist process fouling removal services were required for a crude heater that had been unsuccessfully cleaned by a previous contractor and a Texas Tower that hadn’t been cleaned since 2004.

The Challenge

With their low emissions, minimal environmental impact and high energy efficiency design features, the Vertical Combined Feed and Effluent Exchanger (VCFE/Texas Tower) is often the unsung hero of many industrial processes, with the detrimental effects of fouling falling into the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ category. In this case, our client was experiencing an extreme pressure drop from the VCFE’s original performance. Due to many blockages, the tower was running at 1.4 bar, compared to the unit’s capability of 0.4 bar.

TTIL is the only company with an extensive suite of technologies and methods to clean and inspect all shell and tube Texas Towers. The underperforming VCFE was solved using TTIL’s specialist Texas Tower cleaning equipment, dramatically improving performance and associated energy savings.


To remove fouling from the convection section of the firm’s fired heater, our team of engineers deployed TTI’s globally proven robotic technology. Unlike other cleaning methods, our robotic convection bank cleaning technology restores near 100% heat duty to the furnace’s convection unit, due to deep cleaning between all finned rows within each convection bank. The success of the clean was instantly noticeable compared to the previous contractor’s results. This time, our client not only experienced an immediate increase in performance, but based on this could estimate a release of continuous energy savings for a long-term ROI.

The contract was planned in advance, giving us time to provide an accurate time schedule to simultaneously complete the work for each asset. Our team successfully delivered the contract on time, and in doing so achieved the goal of minimising downtime for the refining plant.

Tube Tech International is the heat exchanger cleaning specialist. We are recognised by oil and gas majors as the leading VCFE cleaning authority, and from our experience recommend that your VCFE is cleaned every four years.

Contact our expert engineers to discuss a solution for your heat exchanger cleaning needs.

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