OXEA, part of the Oman Oil Company, is a leading chemicals manufacturer with operations around the globe. Its specialist products go towards making high-quality coatings, lubricants, cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, printing inks and plastics.
In 2017, OXEA’s manufacturing plant in Oberhausen, Germany was undergoing a review of its internal electrical supply infrastructure. Included in the review were two on-site distribution transformers used to deliver electricity to part of the plant’s manufacturing operations. The transformers at the OXEA plant contained mineral oil that served as an insulating and cooling fluid. The project managers involved quickly determined that replacing the mineral oil with ester transformer fluid (a process called retrofilling) could deliver a number of benefits that reinforced the company’s approach to safety and business continuity.
Dr. Ina Werxhausen, OXEA’s global commercial business director explained “We manufacture a range of volatile, chemical products that are widely used across the globe. Safety is critically important to us – a fire in this plant could be catastrophic for our people, facility and assets. We immediately saw the value of using ester transformer fluids as a way to protect our people and the environment and so further reinforce our business continuity strategy”.
So how does a transformer fluid make such a difference?
- Fire safety - ester fluids have a much higher flash and fire point than mineral oil. Replacing mineral oil in a transformer will greatly enhance fire safety, especially in populated, sensitive or manufacturing-intensive areas. The cost of retrofilling for fire safety reasons is often less than the cost of installing or upgrading fire safety systems for insurance purposes.
- Environmental protection - ester fluids such as MIDEL are officially classified as readily and fully biodegradable and considered to be much more environmentally friendly than mineral oil.
After retrofilling of the OXEA transformers, a MIDEL nameplate was attached to each transformer, as a sign of OXEA’s commitment to protecting its people and property.
Barry Menzies, global managing director for MIDEL ester fluids, commented “We are increasingly working with companies who are looking for a way to effectively deliver their corporate social and environmental responsibilities. The OXEA installation demonstrates how MIDEL is often used to help guarantee business continuity in high-risk environments. Like many of our customers, OXEA went through a journey of discovery - seeing how their choice of transformer fluid could dramatically impact their fire safety and business continuity approach”.
MIDEL ester transformer fluids have been tried and tested in thousands of similar high risk environments for over 40 years, where a zero-compromise approach is necessary, such as oil & gas platforms, factories, hospitals, distilleries, nuclear facilities, mines and underground rail networks.