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Stainless steel - The right choice for an environmentally sustainable upgrade

Stainless steel - The right choice for an environmentally sustainable upgrade

Stainless steel provides a cutting edge and environmentally friendly solution for industrial applications.

Dow Chemicals, a global chemicals manufacturer, recently completed a major upgrade of the wastewater treatment system at their Victorian Point Henry coatings plant. The plant manufactures acrylic emulsions which find use in numerous applications including house paints. ASSDA Members Stirlings Performance Steels and Barwon Valley Stainless provided supply and fabrication services for this impressive wastewater treatment facility upgrade. 

Wastewater produced in the production facility is pumped into flocculation tanks for settling and the clear supernatant is sent for further biological treatment. This treated water is recycled back to production but is also used for irrigation on site to minimise freshwater consumption.

Geelong based Barwon Valley Stainless is a preferred Dow contractor and was selected to provide the complete scope of services for the wastewater treatment plant upgrade due to their knowledge and expertise of wastewater treatments, both local and interstate. Their quality workmanship was reflected in this project as they provided civil and structural works, tank and pipe spooling fabrication, site installation and pump station commissioning. With over 25 years’ experience and competence in stainless fabrication, they were able to work successfully within Dow’s project time and location constraints. 

Stirlings Performance Steels supplied the entire portfolio of materials to Barwon Valley Stainless. This included cut-to-length large bore pipe, structural rectangular hollow section and various pipe fittings as well as laser/plasma profiled plate which were all in grade 316/L.

Reducing environmental footprint in industrial applications is important and material selection is a critical step in both maximising the lifetime of plant and equipment, while minimising the need for maintenance and servicing. This upgrade successfully satisfied both these requirements with the use of stainless steel. Grade 316 is a popular material of construction where water is processed with relatively low chlorides at ambient temperature. It provides an optimal cost benefit compared with other steel-based alternatives which require coating or lining. Additionally, the close proximity of the site to Victoria’s Corio Bay requires resistance to corrosion from airborne seawater. According to Ben Arlidge, Project Manager at Dow, “Stainless steel has provided the perfect mix of performance, workability and cost for our new wastewater treatment facility.”

The plant upgrade is a major step in providing long term certainty to the local Moolap economy, as well as in strengthening the Australian supply chain of domestic market paint products. 

 

Photo credit: Barwon Valley Stainless

This article is featured in Australian Stainless Magazine issue 70, 2020.

Tina Belesis