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            Total acoustic solution for Praxair compressor building in Antwerp

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            In 2013, the American company, Praxair, announced the construction of a second air separation plant in the port of Antwerp. The plant is scheduled to be delivered in mid-2016. Merford has equipped a large compressor building in this plant with measures designed to make the entire building silent to its surroundings.

            Air Separation Plant
            Praxair is a key supplier of atmospheric gases, such as argon, nitrogen and oxygen for the petrochemical and chemical industry in the port of Antwerp. The company also owns a pipeline network in this port. The new air separation plant provides the company with an additional capacity of products like gaseous and liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon. This gives Praxair the opportunity of concluding new long-term contracts with companies in the port of Antwerp region and beyond, in Belgium and the Netherlands. A key component of this new plant is a large compressor building.

            Merford was contracted to equip this building with a large number of technical sound insulation components. For example, the air supply and exhaust are routed via Merford splitter attenuators. The silencers are equipped with louver blades to make the building entirely airtight when the plant is not in use. The air supply silencers, all installed low in the building’s walls, are equipped with bag filters to guarantee they draw in pure outside air. A monitoring unit measures the pressure difference of every silencer to issue a warning when the bag filters are due for cleaning or replacement.

            Sound Insulating and Sound Absorbing Measures
            Merford installed a control unit with frequency regulators and safety devices capable of adjusting the airflow in the energy efficient plant as a function of the required temperature. In addition, Merford installed various sound-insulating doors and an acoustic sectional gate. The building’s ceiling and walls are equipped with 800 m2 of SKA absorption panels designed to reduce the acoustic reflections of the compressor in the concrete building itself. All of the requirements specified by the acoustics consultant were amply met. The plant is expected to be commissioned in 2016. Praxair will be planting 5,000 indigenous trees in the Antwerpse Kempen region as environmental compensation for this new construction. These woods will be named the ‘John the Fearless Woods’, after the Antwerp hero dating from the Middle Ages.