Thordon delivers non-metallic bearings for cooling water pumps in Taiwan

Thordon Bearings has strengthened its presence in the Taiwanese market, delivering water lubricated elastomeric polymer bearings for installation to cooling water pumps commissioned for a major power plant expansion project.

One of the pumps fitted with Thordon non-metallic pump bearings ready to be installed

Thordon SXL and composite non-metallic bearings have been specified by San Tai Pumps, which is providing cooling water pumps to the state-owned Taiwan Power Company (TPC). TPC is expanding its generating capacity at the Hsin Ta power plant in Kaohsiung and the Taichung power plant in Longjing, Taichung.

At Hsin Ta, the power plant is currently being expanded from three turbines to a six-turbine operation. Each of the three new turbines requires three cooling water pumps, which will extract seawater adjacent to the power plant for cooling. Seawater will also be used for lubricating the Thordon bearings. Each pump shaft is more than 10m in length and for each pump, six Thordon bearings are required, adding up to a total of 54 bearings for the Hsin Ta project. Eiger Engineering, Thordon distributor in Taiwan, worked with San Tai Pumps to deliver Thordon SXL and composite bearings for the cooling water pumps.

Thordon composite material installed in the pump

“The Thordon composite material is ideal for more aggressive environments and for use at the bottom of the pumps where they are extracting the water from the seabed. The composite material is resistant to abrasive media such as sand and other particles,” said Ronnie Chen, Eiger Engineering director. “The SXL bearings are used higher up the pump shaft. This material is ideal because of its dry startup capability and long wear life.”

The first cooling water pump was installed at Hsin Ta power plant in April 2023 and delivery of the project is due for completion in 2024. The first pump for the Taichung power plant expansion is in production, and delivery to TPC for this project is expected in the Q1 2024. In total, San Tai will deliver 15 cooling water pumps to TPC over three years, all of which will feature Thordon bearing solutions. “Eiger Engineering worked with San Tai Pumps on the TPC project, to select the suitable bearing material, analyse water flow, make calculations, issue drawings for approval by TPC, and provide support, collaborating in the interests of stakeholders,” said Chen.

“San Tai Pumps has specified Thordon Bearings in its pumps for 20 years, for application in power plants,” she said. “This has been based on reliability, low maintenance costs, and environmental benefits of using seawater for lubrication. The manufacturer wants to have quality components, so it has chosen the Thordon brand.

“San Tai Pumps is also working on a bid to supply cooling water pumps for power plant expansions planned by TPC at Tunghsiao power plant in Tunghsiao township, Miaoli County, and DaLin power plant in Siaogang district, Kaohsiung,” she added.

Thordon APAC regional manager Sam Williams said, “The lifetime of the Thordon pump bearings, with less wear shown during overhauls, is an advantage. Typically, the bearings do not require replacement even at the two-year interval overhaul. Once the bearing used on the cooling water pumps’ original design has been monitored to be running smoothly, the end user is expected to specify Thordon bearings for future projects.”