Thordon Delivers Non-Metallic Bearings for Essential Cooling Water Pumps in Taiwan

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

Thordon’s SXL and Composite non-metallic bearings have been specified by San Tai Pumps, which are providing the cooling water pumps to the state-owned Taiwan Power Company (TPC).

TPC is significantly 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 (32.8ft) 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’s authorised distributor in Taiwan, worked with San Tai Pumps to specify and deliver Thordon SXL and Composite bearings for the cooling water pumps.

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

The first cooling water pump was installed at Hsin Ta power plant in mid-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 first quarter of 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 closely 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 best interests of all stakeholders,” said Chen.

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

“As TPC has embarked on its major power plant expansion program, Eiger Engineering and Thordon Bearings have the opportunity to supply on an even larger scale,” Chen added. “San Tai Pumps is also working on a bid to supply cooling water pumps for further power plant expansions planned by TPC at Tunghsiao power plant in Tunghsiao Township, Miaoli County, and DaLin power plant in Siaogang District, Kaohsiung.”

Sam Williams, Thordon’s Regional Manager, APAC, added, “The long lifetime of the Thordon pump bearings, with less wear shown during overhauls, is a clear 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 in action and shown to be running smoothly, the end user is expected to specify Thordon bearings for future projects.”