In 2020, one of Canada’s largest natural gas resource owners was expanding plants in the Fort Saint John and Grande Prairie areas. They were looking for a turnkey air compressor system that would be able to withstand -45°C temperatures for 4-5 months of the year.
Chamco was awarded the first air compressor package on June 1, 2020, and a second package on December 8, 2020, with the third and fourth packages currently under review.
The Challenge: Short Timelines, Competitor Dishonesty, and Supply Chain Issues
Chamco was responsible for two modular air compressor packages including design and build. The project presented 3 key challenges: short timelines, dishonest competitors, and supply chain issues including a late compressor delivery.
This client needed each air compressor packaged delivered within a 12-week timeframe, which was challenging given the supply chain issues across the globe. Chamco overcame this issue and avoided delivery times that would be almost double the client’s timeframe by ordering the compressors in anticipation of the upcoming projects.
Many of Chamco’s competitors were bidding with 40-horsepower compressors whereas Chamco’s bid included 50-horsepower compressors. The lead engineer initially did not understand why they required 10 horsepower more when the competitors’ bids were all lower. Chamco had to work closely with the client to explain how Chamco sizes the compressors based on site conditions such as elevation and temperature to ensure that the size is appropriate and the plants won’t go down unnecessarily.
Supply Chain Issues
Although Chamco worked proactively to order the compressors ahead of time, there was an issue on the manufacturer’s end with the compressor needed for the 2nd package which delayed the delivery of the compressor to Chamco’s production facility.
Chamco overcame this issue by building the completed air compressor system in such a way that the compressors could fit through the doors of the building. Once the compressors finally arrived a week before the package was due for shipment, Chamco was able to slip the compressors through the doors, bolt them down, and complete the piping. Chamco’s ingenuity kept the project on schedule without any significant delays.
Why This Natural Gas Resource Owner Chose Chamco
Chamco was the only bidder to be able to provide a 10-12 week delivery for the completed package and has maintained that delivery timeframe for all the compressor packages.
Chamco was also upfront with the client from the start about how they came to their compressor sizing selection. Chamco has an engineering proposals team, not just inside salespeople. Their engineers actually look at RFQs and come up with the equipment selection based on best practices.
Chamco successfully overcame all of the challenges above to deliver the air compressor packages on time for this client.
Each package included two direct-drive oil-flooded rotary screw air compressors complete with integral electric motor and controller, one modular type twin tower heatless desiccant air dryer with single train filtration, gauges, drains, piping, skid, wet air receiver, dry air receiver, and related accessories. All equipment was mounted on a steel structural skid and enclosed in a self-framing building complete with heating, ventilation, and electrical.
The fully loaded units also included the following value-added components :
- Stainless Steel control tubing and fittings
- CRN aftercooler and oil separator
- Timed solenoid drain valves for pre-filters
- BC & AB P. Eng stamped skid drawings
- BC & AB P. Eng stamped PID and line list
- Skid drip rim
- Spray Foam insulation under skid
- Upgraded building wall and roof insulation
- Upgraded doors/windows
- Pressure transmitter on dry air receiver
Chamco built each air compressor package based on the client’s requirements and the feedback they received from the field, which meant that there were a few minor differences from the first package to the second package. The second package featured additional ventilation and an electric heater rather than a natural gas heater to make the system more eco-friendly.
Many of Chamco’s competitors outsource the design and building of the skid for their compressor systems. However, Chamco does everything from the initial design to the engineering and assembly of the air compressor packages in-house, making Chamco a true one-stop-shop for this client. The client was pleased with Chamco’s ability to complete all aspects of the project because it allowed the inspector to come to a single location to verify the progress of the project.
Since being installed at the client’s sites, Chamco’s air compressor packages have been trouble-free with zero downtime and serve the exact purpose for which they were designed. The client has since shared that it was easy to work with Chamco and that Chamco gave them peace of mind by providing them with reliable solutions that met their delivery requirements.
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