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Methanex is a global leader in methanol production who prides themselves on operational excellence and industry best practices. When any one of their plants has an area that is not up to standard, the problem is immediately address and resolved. The Methanex Titan Cooling Tower is located in the Caribbean and is constructed of reinforced concrete.

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The Methanex plant, located in the Caribbean. 

Phase one of its reinforcement consisted of repairing a 10’ x 50’ area on the west wall of the tower. The concrete wall showed significant spalling and deterioration of the concrete. The spalling was occurred because the steel reinforcement had corroded and expanded due to salt-water infiltration. The spalled concrete exposed the steel reinforcement, which accelerated the corrosion process.  HJ3 performed an extensive survey to determine which areas were of the highest priority for structural repair.

Methanex West Wall Before
Damaged concrete wall of the Methanex plant, addressed in Phase one.

Phase two of the project encompassed the repair of the 15 support columns on both the North and South Walls for the cooling tower. Significant damages were observed related to the environmental exposure to chemical and local weather. The wall showed high-priority 1 exposed rebar and priority 2 for structural cracks. Replacement of the tower would have been a very substantial project in terms of materials and lost production costs. HJ3 was able to complete Phase one and two repairs in 4 total weeks, saving the Methanex plant 50% compared to replacement costs.

In Phase one, HJ3 covered a 10’ x 50’ section of the west wall of the cooling tower with CarbonSeal carbon fiber reinforcement to repair damages and return the wall to its original integrity.  Due to the condition of the cooling tower, which included spalling, deterioration, and delamination of the concrete, it was important to prevent any future corrosion of the steel reinforcement. In Phase two, HJ3 covered and reinforced 15 columns on the North and South walls of the tower. The columns had exposed rebar and structural cracks that were compromising their integrity. By scheduling the work in two 12-hour shifts, the work was completed quickly, within 2 weeks for each phase.

In both phases, the concrete surface was prepared to the HJ3 specific requirements, cleaned and primed with HJ3’s primer. For Phase two, the exposed rebar required a protective zinc coating to prevent flash rusting. A high modulus paste was then applied to the reinforcement area. HJ3’s CarbonSeal carbon fiber reinforcement system was saturated then applied to the surface. A final layer of high modulus paste was applied and two topcoats finished the application process. For Phase two, brace plates, or anchor plates, were used to prevent the CarbonSeal fabric from curling post-cure.

By proactively reinforcing the cooling tower wall and columns, this Methanex plant was able to  avoid replacing the tower all together. The newly reinforced tower will be functional for another 20years and upon completion of Phase three, the reinforcement will have prevented a total of 5 tons of concrete and steel waste, nearly 30,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, 4,000,000 kWh of energy and nearly 264,000 gallons of water usage when compared to full replacement. HJ3 has been able to save Methanex 50% of the monetary cost compared to replacing the wall and columns. Without HJ3’s repair, this Methanex plant would have stopped production within a year of HJ3’s initial survey.If you have concerns with your cooling tanks and would like to learn more about HJ3’s carbon fiber reinforcement systems, contact our project managers today at info@hj3.com.

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