UAE utility replaces pump and valve bearings

Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) is a step closer to replacing its industrial pump bearings with grease-free Thordon water lubricated bearing solutions following the installation of the Canadian company’s pioneering technology to desalination plants across the United Arab Emirates.
In the first six months of this year, Ocean Power International (OPI), Thordon Bearings’ Dubai-based distributor, supplied ThorPlas-Blue and SXL bearings for installation to 20 butterfly valves and seven brine recirculation and vertical pumps, respectively.
DEWA has been systematically replacing its traditional bearings with Thordon products at facilities across Dubai.
OPI managing director Rafid Qureshi said: “After hearing about the issues that DEWA was having with the original bearings, we proposed a solution that included ThorPlas-Blue. After checking load calculations and ensuring operating pressures did not exceed the bearing material’s 45 MPa (6,527 psi) tolerance, we machined and fitted the Thordon bushings.
“Since that first installation, we have replaced pump and valve bearings at several power generation and desalination plants across Dubai.”
In 2019 OPI and Thordon completed bearing retrofits at the OPI workshop for a de-mineralisation pit pump after fabric lined metal bearings had worn out.
In May last year, 20 vertical pumps and six brine recirculation pump isolation valves at the OPI workshop were retrofitted with the Thordon polymer material.
“The bronze bushings originally installed in the vertical pumps were wearing out and causing frequent breakdowns every six to eight months months,” said Qureshi. “Unfortunately, there were multiple components that failed as a result of the bushing failure, forcing DEWA to find a longer lasting, more reliable solution.”
Since DEWA began operating their vertical pumps with the ThorPlas-Blue bearings, there has been zero downtime or increased vibration, Qureshi concluded.

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