Gulf Coast Power Plant Boiler Cleaning

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Gulf Coast Power Plant Boiler Cleaning
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A large power company with a coal-fired generating station near Westlake, Louisiana required chemical cleaning services on one of its boiler units that was contaminated with high levels of copper, iron and zinc. The unit was on a five year routine cleaning cycle, but just three years after its last outage, the boiler was already in need of maintenance.

When the customer issued its request for proposals for this cleaning project, they included standardized chemistry and a required, two-phase chemical cleaning procedure for removing the high metal contaminants in this boiler unit. Veolia's bid was submitted accordingly to perform the cleaning and manage the transportation and disposal of the waste generated in the safest, most cost-effective manner possible. 

Veolia challenged itself to remove all metal contaminants from the customer's boiler in one cleaning phase, even though the customer expected and required two cleaning phases to reach that result. 


Veolia mobilized a 10-man chemical cleaning project team and equipment to the customer site, and 24/7 cleaning operations began according to the customer's required chemistry. Our experience and understanding of the equipment design led the team to believe that if the process engineering, flow rates and temperature rates were achieved and monitored consistently, Veolia could deliver a clean boiler in one pass instead of two. 

Following the first cleaning pass, the operations team pulled a sample from the boiler and sent it for analysis at Veolia's in-house laboratory in La Porte, Texas. The lab report showed no residual copper, iron or zinc contaminants, and the findings were presented the customer's engineering team for review. The customer was impressed with the results of Veolia's work, and agreed that the first cleaning phase had decontaminated the boiler. To remain compliant with the engineering requirements and standard operating procedures for this unit, the customer still wanted a secondary cleaning phase, but allowed Veolia to significantly shorten it. According to the customer's Outage Superintendant, they "never had a chemical cleaning job on this unit that went right before Veolia." 

In total, the boiler cleaning project generated over 700,000 gallons of non-hazardous waste that Veolia managed during the cleaning process and transported to an off-site wastewater plant for treatment on behalf of this customer. 


By achieving the standard of cleanliness required by the customer in just one chemical cleaning pass, Veolia demonstrated the significant cost savings and uptime that could be realized from partnering with an experienced chemical cleaning team with a robust understanding of process design and operational execution. 

Achieving a decontaminated boiler in one cleaning pass instead of two delivers over $120,000 in chemical cleaning savings, and another $100,000 in savings related to waste transportation and disposal. Additionally, the clean boiler unit returns to operational status sooner, giving the plant additional uptime and utilization rates. In turn, the customer has come to expect the results that Veolia delivered on this project, revising their standard operating procedure and service quality expectations for all future cleanings of this unit. 

"We never had a chemical cleaning job on this unit that went right before Veolia."
-Customer's Outage Superintendant