Integrated and automate for safety

Paul Boughton

With modern automation systems offering unrivalled levels of safety, reliability and efficiency, the major players are winning substantial contracts around the world. Sean Ottewell reports.

Yokogawa has been selected to supply the integrated automation and safety system for the new liquefaction trains at Cheniere's LNG facility in Sabine Pass, Los Angeles, which is being developed by its subsidiary Sabine Pass Liquefaction (SPL).

SPL is the first company with US Department of Energy approval to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to non-free trade agreement countries. The development of liquefaction services at the Sabine Pass LNG receiving terminal in Cameron Parish, Los Angeles, will transform the terminal into a bi-directional facility capable of liquefying and exporting natural gas and importing and re-gasifying foreign-sourced LNG.

“We are proud to be part of this groundbreaking liquefaction project in the US,” says Chet Mroz, president and ceo of Yokogawa corporation of America. “Yokogawa has a 25% worldwide market share for LNG plants as well as a long-standing relationship with Cheniere Energy, beginning with the purchase of Yokogawa's CENTUM CS 3000 control system for the original gasification facility at Sabine Pass in 2006.”

Yokogawa's CENTUM VP integrated production control system was selected for the new liquefaction facility. While CENTUM VP is classified as a distributed control system (DCS), it goes beyond a traditional DCS by offering a more intuitive human machine interface and a large-capacity field control station to process data faster while maintaining exceedingly high reliability. The dual-redundant configuration of processor cards combined with pairing each processor card with two CPUs (pair and spare configuration) ensures uninterrupted operations and high availability.

SPL will also utilise the ProSafe-RS integrated safety instrumented system (SIS) from Yokogawa for the site. ProSafe-RS delivers the world's first completely integrated SIS for DCS to simplify deployment, operation, and maintenance. Until now, two separate monitoring and operating environments were required for the DCS and SIS. ProSafe-RS eliminates the need to implement separate communications and distinctive hardware architectures for the DCS and SIS, thus fast tracking implementation at Sabine Pass, lowering overall costs, and simplifying operation and maintenance.

Cheniere owns 100 per cent of the Sabine Pass LNG terminal located on the Sabine Pass deep water shipping channel less than four miles from the Gulf Coast. The Sabine Pass LNG terminal has regasification facilities that include existing infrastructure of five LNG storage tanks with capacity of approximately 16.9 billion cubic feet equivalent (bcfe), two docks that can accommodate vessels of up to 265,000 cubic meters, and vaporisers with regasification capacity of approximately 4bcf/d.

The company is developing natural gas liquefaction facilities at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal adjacent to the existing regasification facilities. Cheniere Energy Partners plans to construct over time up to six natural gas liquefaction trains, which are in various stages of development. Each train will have a nominal annual capacity of approximately 4.5 million t/y.

In a separate development, Yokogawa has released and enhanced version of the STARDOM network-based control system on February. With this release, says the company, the integrity of the data transferred between supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems and programmable logic controllers (PLCs) is ensured in challenging upstream oil and gas and other applications.

The FCN autonomous controller and the FCN-RTU low power controller are core components of the STARDOM network-based control system, which is widely used in applications involving the monitoring and control of oil and gas fields, water supply facilities, and other installations that are often hundreds of kilometres apart. In such applications, the controllers installed at each site send data via a narrowband communications link to the SCADA system at a central control facility. To ensure that no data is lost, such systems generally employ DNP3, an open distributed network communications protocol. The STARDOM system has been enhanced to make better use of the functions supported by the DNP3 protocol.

Upgrades in Russia and Japa

Invensys Operations Management has successfully completed the first phase of a main automation contractor project at the new Yaysky oil refinery in Kemerovo, a city in Russia’s Kuzbass region (Fig.1).

Under the terms of the multimillion dollar agreement, Invensys, as the main automation provider, has supplied complete control and safety solutions, including field instrumentation, process analytics and valves.

Included in the project are the company’s Foxboro distributed control system, Triconex emergency shutdown systems and Foxboro measurement and instrumentation solutions, as well as new Foxboro visualisation and configuration tools. The company will also provide comprehensive installation, engineering, development, support and on-site training services.

During the execution of the project Invensys played a key role in the selection of suppliers and contractors, managing the supply chain and improving the efficiency and transparency of pricing to optimise the total cost of ownership of the project.

NefteKhimService JSC, a Russian company and investor in the Yaysky project, selected Invensys as the MAC after an open-vendor bid in 2009.

“We are extremely pleased to serve NefteKhimService JSC on this important project, and we are totally committed to their success,” said Boris Muratov, general manager, Invensys Operations Management, Russia. “Along with the industry’s broadest portfolio of open technology solutions, Invensys has more than 100 years of global experience completing massive projects for companies large and small. The Yaysky project builds on our abilities to help refineries around the world become safer and more efficient, as well as strengthening our strategic position in Russia’s growing, dynamic downstream market.”

The Yaysky facility is designed to process 3 million t/y of crude oil. After start up, it will produce more than 400,000t/y of gasoline and 1.5 million t/y of diesel fuel, satisfying more than 60 per cent of the fuel consumption needs of Russia’s Kuzbass region, located in southwestern Siberia. The successful first phase sets up the refinery for the next two phases of implementation, which will expand production to 6 million t/y of crude oil and increase oil conversion to 93 per cent.

Finally, Honeywell has announced that Idemitsu Kosan has selected its Experion process knowledge system (PKS) to modernise the integrated control room at its Tokuyama refining and petrochemical complex to promote operational efficiency, safety and reliability.

Idemitsu Kosan, one of Japan’s largest refining and petrochemical companies, is modernising its control systems, adopting global best practices and business applications that can be added onto the Experion architecture quickly and with minimal disruption to operations. As a part of this modernisation effort, the company will deploy abnormal situations management, alarm management, and cyber-security solutions.

“Honeywell is committed to helping Idemitsu Kosan’s drive for sustainability,” said Marc Kroll, sales director Japan, Honeywell Process Solutions. “With Experion PKS, disparate data across various facilities are integrated into a unified automation system. This approach enables Idemitsu Kosan to attain greater operational and business efficiencies in its operations.”

“This modernisation project will give us greater effectiveness and efficiency as we work to meet Japan’s need for energy diversification,” said Takashi Matsushita, executive officer, general manager of manufacturing & technology department, Idemitsu Kosan. “With this solution in place, the Tokuyama plant will be able to attain high global standards of safety, reliability, efficiency and sustainability.”

The implementation of Experion PKS began in late 2012 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

Seamless integration of subsea and topside automation systems

Honeywell has announced the integration and certification of the FMC722 subsea automation protocol with its Experion process knowledge system (PKS) C300 controller as a native interface.

A global provider of technology solutions for the energy industry, FMC Technologies supplies the automation platform as part of subsea production systems for control and monitoring of offshore oil and gas fields.

Within Honeywell’s Experion PKS solution, the Experion C300 controller executes control strategies, interfaces to various types of input/output (I/O) devices, and directly hosts custom programmable applications. The FMC722 subsea automation interface provides integration of the FMC protocol on the controller, enabling seamless peer-to-peer communication between topside and subsea control assets. This solution gives operators access to thousands of process parameters without the need for any intermediate hardware or protocol conversions, leading to fast response, reduced downtime and greater ease of maintenance.

“Our technology offers advantages not only in bringing a new field online today, but also provides lower ownership costs over the lifecycle of the field’s operations due to common engineering, operations and maintenance. Also, ongoing developments in the FMC722 protocol can easily be integrated in future versions of Experion PKS. The integration and certification of these solutions will boost the productivity of oil and gas field operators and engineers by providing them with a precise view of the field’s process status. Additionally, it will simplify the way the subsea automation system interacts with the topside distributed control system,” said Tracey Haslam, vice president of marketing, Automation Solutions, Honeywell Process Solutions.

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