SKF has signed a major contract to supply SKF S2M Ae magnetic bearings to Ukrainian turboexpander manufacturer Turbogaz. Nine sets, incorporating a standard electronic control cabinet, will be supplied to Uzbekistan, the largest producer and consumer of natural gas in Central Asia.
Turboexpanders are turbines in which high-pressure gas is used to separate heavier fractions and drive a compressor. Their bearings are constantly in direct contact with gas, and the harsh environment can accelerate wear and failure. SKF S2M magnetic bearings offer a more reliable and oil-free solution for high-speed natural gas turboexpanders, enabling Turbogaz to offer units that are low in maintenance needs.
Oleg Viktorovich Kuprygin, CEO of Turbogaz, says Turbogaz has been working in close cooperation with SKF Magnetic Mechatronics to equip turboexpanders with magnetic bearings for many years. “Our first joint project was the development of a turboexpander unit with a production capacity of 9 million cubic meters [318 million cubic feet] per day,” he says. “The unit was put into commercial operation in 2007 and has been in service for more than 42,000 hours since then.”