DEWA to Replace Pump and Valve Bearings with Thordon’s Grease-Free Material

UAE’s largest utility Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) is planning to replace its industrial pump bearings with Canadian company Thordon’s grease-free water lubricated bearing solutions, following the installation of the latter’s technology to desalination plants across the UAE.

July 07, 2021. By Manu Tayal

UAE’s largest utility Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) is planning to replace its industrial pump bearings with Canadian company Thordon’s grease-free water lubricated bearing solutions, following the installation of the latter’s technology to desalination plants across the UAE.

During the first Half of this year, Ocean Power International (OPI), Thordon Bearings’ Dubai-based distributor, supplied ThorPlas-Blue and SXL bearings for installation to 20 butterfly valves and 7 brine recirculation and vertical pumps, respectively.

Currently, DEWA has been systematically replacing its traditional bearings with Thordon products at facilities across Dubai. The first bearing retrofit was carried out over 25 years ago.

“After hearing about the issues that DEWA was having with the original bearings, we proposed a solution that included ThorPlas-Blue. After checking load calculations and ensuring operating pressures did not exceed the bearing material’s 45 MPa (6,527 psi) tolerance, we machined and fitted the Thordon bushings,” said Rafid Qureshi, Managing Director of OPI.

“Since that first installation, we have replaced pump and valve bearings at several power generation and desalination plants across Dubai,” Qureshi added.

“The bronze bushings originally installed in the vertical pumps were wearing out and causing frequent breakdowns every 6-8 months,” said Qureshi.

“Unfortunately, there were multiple components that failed as a result of the bushing failure, forcing DEWA to find a longer lasting, more reliable solution,” Qureshi further said.

“As the medium in these pumps is seawater, the new bearings had to be corrosion resistant, and capable of withstanding high operating speeds and temperatures up to 80°C (176°F). ThorPlas-Blue was deemed the ideal bearing grade for this kind of application.”

“By installing ThorPlas-Blue, DEWA has saved about US$50,000 in downtime, eliminating unplanned maintenance and the costs associated with grease and spare parts procurement. Similar reductions in operational expenditures have been experienced across all of the company’s facilities following the Thordon installations,” he said.

Thordon Bearings’ Strategic Account Manager – Vertical Pumps, Keith Brand agreed, “The team at OPI have done a phenomenal job in saving this end user hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

“The elimination of grease not only offers obvious cost benefits, but the bearing material is much safer and cleaner to operate than other conventional pump bearings,” added Brand.

OPI hopes to have converted over 60 per cent of all DEWA pump bearings to ThorPlas-Blue or SXL by the end of 2022.

DEWA currently has an installed capacity of 12,300 MW of electricity and 470 million gallons of desalinated water per day, providing its services to over 1 million customers in Dubai.

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