Innovation enables recycling of argon in solar ingot production for LONGi, China

Innovation enables recycling of argon in solar ingot production for LONGi, China



Innovation enables recycling of argon in solar ingot production for LONGi, China


LONGi is one of the six major Chinese manufacturers of photovoltaics and a developer of solar projects and the world’s largest manufacturer of mono-crystalline silicon wafers. We have supplied and installed 55 Argon0 units to serve existing and brand new facilities in Malaysia.


Delivering cost and carbon savings to an existing facility

The Argon0 units, which are relatively compact (about the size of a double wardrobe) and simple to install, can serve up to four furnaces at a time in this application. 15 of those supplied have been seamlessly integrated into LONGi Solar’s existing photovoltaic facility in Kuching, Malaysia where they have now been running 24 hours a day for over a year, delivering a return rate of over 94%.

Working with a Chinese-speaking partner in Taiwan to assist with client liaison and the installation, our UK commissioning engineer headed the team to ensure that the commissioning of the units met our standards. Post commissioning, a representative from our partner GR2L attended the site to confirm that all the units were working correctly.

Good working relations and a proactive attitude from those on site contributed positively to the speed and success of the project at Kuching.


Helping LONGi to retain its leadership position

40 Argon0 of the units we have supplied to LONGi have been installed in a brand-new facility for the production of 5GW monocrystalline ingots in Yunnan Lijiang, China. It is our largest installation to date and probably the world’s largest  installation for argon recovery. The stand-alone nature of the Argon0 and the fact that it connects to furnaces rather than the factory exhaust stream gives it a clear commercial advantage in simplicity of installation, which was an advantage on this project where we were working around other elements of the installation, and offers the potential for clients to test in situ.

LONGi has expressed a clear intent to concentrate on producing cost effective monocrystalline products* in order to consolidate its leading position in this segment. The Argon0s will contribute to this mission by reducing their demand for argon and will also have a significant impact on the carbon footprint of this huge business.


Creating one of the world’s largest know installations for argon recovery

Supplying 55 Argon0 units in one order is a considerable commitment but the team rose to the challenges in delivering a project of this scale and the units were ready on time and on specification.


Attention to every aspect of our delivery

The Argon0 units are shipped in bespoke crates designed to make shipping as cost effective as possible whilst ensuring safe delivery. Our crate supplier is a  member of the UK Wood Packaging Material Marking Programme and is approved by the Forestry Commission to provide ISPM 15, which means their products are compliant with international standards, and are suitable for use worldwide.


Total clean utilities solution for B Braun’s state-of-the-art production facility

Total clean utilities solution for B Braun’s state-of-the-art production facility



Total clean utilities solution for B Braun’s state-of-the-art production facility




Purified water is an essential ingredient in intravenous saline solution, which is one of the products produced by medical technology company B Braun. Puretech was commissioned to provide a single source solution for the essential clean utilities, including this purified water, water for injection, steam and compressed air, at the company’s new world-class production facility in Malaysia. Puretech worked with B Braun from design to validation to provide the required systems.



B Braun is one of the world’s largest medical technology companies. Over a period of nine years the company has expanded its facilities in Penang, Malaysia with a project encompassing five new and enhanced production plants and other administrative buildings. The result is a state-of-the art facility featuring the latest building and production technologies for the manufacture medical devices for infusion therapy, pharmaceutical solutions and surgical instruments for the treatment of patients in Malaysia and around the world.


The project

Project summary

The design, manufacture, co-ordination, supply, installation, testing and commissioning and validation of turnkey high integrity delivery systems:

  • Purified water (PW) generation (Genesys)
  • Purified water (PW) storage and distribution
  • Water for injection (WFI) generation
  • Water for injection (WFI) storage and distribution
  • Pure steam generation and distribution
  • Clean compressed air distribution (CDA)


Detailed design study to meet exacting specification

Initially, Puretech was contracted to carry out a detailed design study to meet the specifications set out for B Braun’s planned new production facility at Bayan Lepas, Panang, Malaysia.

Co-ordinating with other contractors, Puretech provided detailed process piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs), schedules, general arrangement (GA) drawings and 3D modelling of the entire clean utilities building.


Design to validation

Each system was fully designed and engineered at Puretech’s facility in Surrey, including the controls system integration into the client’s process control system.

All of the site piping, including the process connections to the client’s equipment and process vessels, was undertaken on site by Puretech. Individual skids for the PW systems and WFI system were built at Puretech in the UK and shipped to Malaysia for installation into the new clean utilities building.

All piping systems were fully validated, including site installation qualification, operation qualification (IQ/OQ) and full engineering data books to support the complete installation.


Meeting the challenges

Puretech supplies systems throughout the world and, through experience, has learnt to adapt to the challenges of a variety of climates and to be flexible and innovative in carrying out installations where the availability of general consumables and infrastructure parts is limited, as was the case for this project. Welding plant, tools and equipment of the quality required were also not readily available locally for this project and the climate and logistics of an overseas installation were compounded by a scarcity of appropriately qualified people locally.

Puretech Project Manager, Ian Chapman lived in Malaysia for 18 months to be on-site and to overcome any issues, ensuring successful delivery. Puretech worked to a tight programme for the production plant to be available and in service ready for commissioning. The total project from initial discussion took around three and a half years, with the installation and site works taking less than 15 months of this, including commissioning and validation. For the passivation acid rinse of the pipework Puretech sent out its own passivation kit and expert and bought citric acid locally.

The sheer scale of this project, which is one of the largest LVP (large volume parenteral) installations in Asia, was a step change for Puretech. Typically, systems contain 10 000 litres, the installation at  B Braun contains 100 000 litres of WFI split into two 50 000 litre vessels.


“We are very proud of our delivery of this significant project, working in challenging conditions and to a tight programme. The client was very impressed with the quality of our work”

Robert Smith, Sales and Commercial Director


Producing a vital ingredient

The system Puretech has designed for B Braun supplies WFI for LVP and SVP holding intravenous saline solutions for bags. The WFI is a carrier for Braun’s product and a vital ingredient, forming more than 90% of the final product.

A system designed for a facility in a hot climate must be modified accordingly. For B Braun the system feed water is warm, 25° versus circa <15° for European projects, so has to be chilled to 15°c for purified water to reduce microbiological growth. Purified water has to be distributed in insulated piping to maintain this. WFI is maintained at 70 to 80°c .


Safety and sustainability

In terms of safety, throughout the installation and site works Puretech had zero accidents. Puretech is conscious of sustainability in the design and delivery of its systems. In this instance the necessary hardware was packed in wooden crates and shipped in containers. There was very little on site wastage, which is always Puretech’s objective.










Quench pipe for cancer fighting proton beam at UCL

Quench pipe for cancer fighting proton beam at UCL



Helping to provide cancer fighting PBT for the NHS



Working with main contractor Bouygues UK, we are contributing to London, University College London Hospitals’ mission to improve the lives and outcomes for cancer sufferers, supplying quench pipes for the MRI scanners, hydrogen feeds to the proton beam systems and medical gas systems to the new clinical facility.



Located in the heart of London, University College London Hospitals’ new eleven storey building will be home to one of only two NHS proton beam therapy (PBT) centres in the UK. PBT is an advanced form of radiotherapy used for the treatment of complex and hard-to-treat cancers in children and adults but from 2020 patients at UCLH will benefit from PBT with potentially better outcomes and a lower risk of longer-term side effects.

In the same facility UCLH is also looking to develop Europe’s largest blood disorder treatment centre and a short stay surgical service.


Feeding hydrogen to proton beam machines

Proton beam therapy (PBT)  offers cancer patients fewer side effects than conventional X-ray radiotherapy. PBT uses charged particles instead of high energy X-rays. It allows a proton stream made up of ionized hydrogen gas to be targeted directly at a tumour with more accuracy than X-ray, reducing the dose to surrounding tissues and organs. The new therapy centres will make this advancement in cancer available to more NHS patients. We are designing and installing the hydrogen feed to the proton beam machine, which is vital to keeping the machine operating.


Ensuring the safe operation of MRI scanners

Magnets in the MRI scanners at UCLH are cooled with liquid helium. As helium turns to gas and expands rapidly at temperatures above -260° C the system requires a safety valve and quench pipe to ensure that in the unlikely event of the helium turning to gas it will be safely dispersed outside the building. We have installed quench pipes at UCLH for this purpose.


Rising to the logistical challenges of working in central London

We are designing and installing the customary suite of medical gas systems for a hospital system: oxygen, nitrous oxide, medical air, surgical air, medical vacuum, aesthetic gas scavenging system (AGSS) and carbon dioxide. The challenge for this project, for the medical gases, quench pipes and the hydrogen feed, comes from the location of the project. Working in Tottenham Court Road, Puretech had to overcome difficult access and no onsite storage. With a project of this scale experience really counts and we have considerable experience of delivering this type of project in central London and we like a challenge.


We are good at any project that’s challenging. We have a proven track record of rising to challenges and delivering everything that is required so the UCLH project is right up our street.

Andrew Barrett, Managing Director