CCGT power plant in Turkey orders Valmet DNA automation systems

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The Hamitabat Kirklareli CCGT plant

Valmet is delivering their DNA Automation system to control twin CCGT power generation systems at the Hamitabat Elektrik Üretim 1200MW gas-fired plant in the Marmara region of Turkey. The plant is being constructed on a turnkey basis by an EPC, Gama Güç Sistemleri Mühendislik ve Ticaret AS: deputy md Altan Orer explained that they had selected Valmet because of their proven expertise: “We were impressed by Valmet’s strong combined cycle plant references in Turkey and around the world. The company has proven its expertise and excellence in power generation.”

 

The Valmet system also includes plant information and performance monitoring systems which will enable the plant to achieve high process availability, controllability and reliability. The DNA system offers information management and plant performance calculations all on the same integrated platform, which provides the plant operators with major benefits, such as better usability, uniform tools and seamless communication between various functions. Valmet will also supply local technical support for the plant operators.

(c) Nick Denbow, Processingtalk.info

@ProcessingTalk

Ireland moves ahead in PAT for biopharmaceuticals

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Dr Karen Twomey, holding a PATsule

Ireland has established pharmaceuticals as one of their major production industries, and this has led to a major concentration of expertise, particularly around Cork. The Tyndall National Institute there, with others, have developed a smart sensor capsule for use in bioreactors, to provide process analytical information – a true PAT sensor. Given the name of a ‘PATsule’, the sensor is designed to float freely about in the process liquids, to transmit in-situ process monitoring even from within the active biofluid: it communicates with the rest of the world using wireless. The PATsule “uses a multi-disciplinary approach of micro- and nano-sensor technology, miniaturised instrumentation, data analytics and wireless communications” according to Dr Karen Twomey, at Tyndall. The PATsule has been specifically used in the production of protein therapies.

In March even more pharma expertise will visit Cork, as the ISA from America recognizes Ireland’s status as the place to review modern pharmaceutical production by bringing the Food and Pharma Division symposium to Cork. This is the first time ever that this symposium will be held outside North America.  Special attention will be paid in the meeting to the rôle of automation technology and innovation in the industry, particularly relating to regulatory requirements and manufacturing costs. The dates to be in Cork are 14-15 March.

Major Emerson Cat Cracker project at BP Whiting Refinery

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A view of the BP Whiting Refinery, photo courtesy of BP

Emerson Process Management is providing process automation technologies and services to help British Petroleum (BP) further enhance the safety, reliability, and performance of its Whiting refinery in Northwest Indiana, USA – without the costly downtime often required for such projects.

The project to upgrade the process control system of two fluid catalytic cracking units is part of a strategic BP-Emerson automation upgrade programme. It follows BP’s earlier multi-billion-dollar Whiting Refinery Modernisation Project, which was one of the largest investments in BP history. Emerson also provided process automation for that massive upgrade, which helped BP boost its heavy-crude capacity more than four-fold.

The Whiting refinery is BP’s largest and a major supplier to the Midwest and other parts of the United States. One of the key benefits that Emerson brings is its experience managing “hot cutover” projects – upgrading units while the operation continues running, which helps BP maintain a secure supply of fuel for its customers. Catalytic crackers are primarily used to produce high octane gasoline in the refining process.

Emerson has already provided upgraded automation technologies for one of the cat crackers, implementing a new DeltaV distributed control system. Diagnostics available in the DeltaV system can help BP detect problems well before an unintended loss of operation, saving money and improving efficiency.

For the second cat cracker, Emerson will provide a DeltaV control system and integrated DeltaV SIS safety system. The integrated control and safety system will provide a common operations and engineering environment and access to extensive diagnostics across the unit. The complete automation upgrade also includes Emerson’s Fisher control valves and Rosemount measurement instruments.

“The ability to use our resources and experience from one stage of the upgrade programme on another stage helps BP manage project cost and schedule risks,” said Steve Sonnenberg, president of Emerson Process Management. “Our commissioning and start-up expertise developed in previous projects also helps BP safely and reliably improve performance without unexpected downtime, providing significant benefits to its customers that rely on a predictable supply of gasoline.”

Fines for oil and gas accidents, in the US and Scotland

There is a commonly held belief that US Courts award larger monetary fines and penalties than European Courts. This perhaps can be tested by some recent comparisons. BP paid $18.7Bn in fines to the US Government after the Macondo blowout in 2010, after already having paid $42Bn in the settlement of criminal and civil suits, and trust fund payments. The blast killed 11 people and discharged 686,000 tonnes of oil into the sea.

In the UK, Total E+P experienced a blow-out on the Elgin offshore platform in 2012, which caused considerable inconvenience to neighbouring offshore operators, where production and other drilling work had to be suspended. The high pressure natural gas leak continued for 51 days. The accident led to a total discharge of 6000 tonnes of gas and condensate into the atmosphere. Closing the well down cost Total around $127m, but also they lost production output from the Elgin-Franklin project for around a year.

Last year the Scottish Courts fined Total E+P $1.67million for the mistakes that led to the discharge and pollution. This makes the Scottish fine per tonne of gas discharge on Total around 1% of the US fine imposed on BP, per tonne of oil discharge. Is this factor a measure of the difference between oil and gas, or the difference between the Courts?

What does this mean for SoCalGas?

Southern California Gas has currently a problem with a major gas leak from the Aliso Canyon gas storage well, which is an abandoned oil well used to store natural gas. This blew in October last year, and is on schedule to be stopped by the end of March. The Californian Air Resources Board has monitored the leak rates, which have now reduced significantly, as the reservoir empties. They suggest the discharge to date has been 83,000 tonnes of methane, also suggesting this is 2.1m metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

On the basis of a Scottish Court fine, pro-rata for the discharge of 83,000 tonnes, SoCalGas would face a fine of $23m, if it were based in Scotland. If the US Courts treat a gas discharge in the same way as an oil discharge, then following the BP example, the fine will be 100x greater, or around $2Bn. I think it is more likely that US Courts, even with their normal high value fines, will view air pollution and global warming as far less significant than oil pollution and damage to their local sea environment and beaches. We will wait for some years to see what the fine will be.

For the SoCalGas leak information website, see www.AlisoUpdates.com.

For the Californian ARB website: http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/aliso_canyon_natural_gas_leak.htm

For the original INSIDER comment on this topic, see https://nickdenbow.wordpress.com/2015/12/23/us-climate-change-contribution/

(c) Nick Denbow – Processingtalk.info

Further Yokogawa CCGT and Desalination business in Qatar

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The QEWC Ras Abu Fontas plant

A press release this week from Yokogawa announces that the Yokogawa South Korean engineering operation has won another major contract from Samsung C&T for Centum VP control and ProSafe-RS safety systems for a 2.4GW Combined Cycle gas turbine power and desalination plant. The plant is to be built in Qatar, using local natural gas as the fuel, and will make up an important part of the future Qatari infra-structure: it will be located 20km south of Doha. It will be operated by Umm Al Houl Power, a joint venture consortium which includes Mitsubishi/Tokyo Electric Power and Qatar Petroleum, the Qatar Foundation, and the Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC).

Another order from Acciona Agua covers the supply of an associated Yokogawa Centum VP control system for a reverse osmosis water desalination plant to be created as a part of the power plant. Separately, Yokogawa received an order placed by Hitachi Zosen Corporation for a Centum VP control system on a further multi-stage flash desalination plant. Combined, the two desalination plants will produce 590,000 cubic meters of water per day.

Yokogawa will be responsible for the engineering of these interlinked systems, which will be able to monitor and control the operations of all three plants: plus they will provide support for installation and commissioning.

Yokogawa Experience

Yokogawa in South Korea has developed extensive expertise in working alongside Korean and Japanese power plant contractors, and claims a solid global track record in executing large CCGT projects, based on over 100 systems for combined cycle power plants. This capability was demonstrated in Qatar on a previous desalination plant for QEWC, known as the Ras Abu Fontas A2 project, and previous CCGT projects alongside Samsung C&T have included a 2.1GW plant at Rabigh on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast.

Yokogawa anticipates major growth in demand for CCGT plants worldwide, particularly where there is access to local supplies of natural gas. However, some recent projects have been more unconventional, with a recent installation in Ireland using a high speed controller to manage a fly-wheel energy storage system for smoothing the output power from wind farms! Another project in Cornwall, UK, will use Centum VP and ProSafe-RS to control the boilers and auxiliary systems on a waste to energy plant, their fourth such installation in the UK.

(c) Nick Denbow:  www.ProcessingTalk.info

@Processingtalk

Emerson Rosemount Pressure Indicator Gauge, with WirelessHART

Emerson Process Management has announced a new WirelessHART transmitter, which is a modern design of the ubiquitous pressure gauge. With a 4.5” gauge face indicator, this Rosemount branded unit has a 270 degree scale, to give easy visual indication, for operators to see on site when needed, of the process pressure. But this unit offers a lot more than a simple gauge, it uses a modern piezo-resistive pressure sensor capsule, replacing the Bourdon tubes and the mechanical parts, which were always subject to wear and vibration. Safety is also improved, because the sensor gives two layers of process isolation: the unit is capable of withstanding 150X overpressure.

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Then the modern electronics processes the measurement, to transmit this data over WirelessHART, as a normal pressure transmitter would, so eliminating the need to visually inspect all gauges on operator rounds. In addition, the electronics drives the standard visual display on the gauge, which uses a conventional needle indication. There is also the option to press a button and illuminate the dial so an operator can read the gauge locally. The battery in the unit has a typical ten year life.

An industry first?

The press release from Emerson did suggest that this development introduced the industry’s first wireless pressure gauge. In fact the idea of using wireless to transmit pressure gauge readings remotely is not new, since it was back in 2009 when Honeywell Process Solutions launched a OneWireless gauge reader, working over their mesh wireless network, which later morphed into ISA100. Developed in co-operation with Cypress Envirosystems, the unit was quoted to non-intrusively attach to the outside of any existing dial gauge, enabling a simple upgrade of the existing plant equipment, without stopping the process. Obviously this approach did not improve the pressure isolation or improve the tolerance of the basic mechanical sensor to plant vibration induced damage, which is where the new Emerson approach scores.

(c) Nick Denbow, Processingtalk.info

@ProcessingTalk

Aveva 3D adopted by Statoil: Schneider and Aveva stop merger/acquisition talks.

The news that Statoil has signed a multi-year agreement with Aveva to use Aveva 3D as its strategic 3D design software platform, as an upgrade to its existing Aveva PDMS design system, reminds us that there has been an on-going discussion about a deal between Schneider Software, through many of its acquired Invensys businesses, and Aveva. This possible deal was announced last June, and featured in the INSIDER Newsletter in July last year. It involves the bringing together of these software businesses into an enlarged Aveva Group, which would be effectively majority owned by Schneider.

Seamless integration of Laser scan data in the AVEVA Everything3D BubbleView

Seamless integration of Laser scan data in the AVEVA Everything3D BubbleView

Statoil is currently quoted to be using Aveva software on 52 Brownfield and 7 Greenfield models, plus the new Johan Sverdrup field development project that today consists of 7 models. Older plants such as the Snøhvit LNG Plant in the Barents Sea, the refineries at Mongstad in Norway and Kalundborg in Denmark, and the gas treatment facility at Kårstø have been converted to Aveva PDMS. So the opportunity for deeper involvement by a partner of Aveva, like Schneider, in all these major refurbishments and new projects, gives a wide opening for an expanded role in the design and automation of these projects.

This was reflected in the statement that Statoil’s new strategy (to standardise on Aveva E3D) offers the potential for significant project efficiencies in the design, operation and revamp of all Statoil facilities in the future. Executive Vice President for Sales in AVEVA, Helmut Schuller, said that “Statoil has selected Aveva E3D as its 3D solution of choice for both its greenfield and brownfield complex plant design projects”, and that Aveva 3D offers “[A] multitude of benefits without the normal risks associated with new projects and long-term operations”.

Aveva 3D offers simple migration from Aveva PDMS, and Statoil has been a strategic user of Aveva PDMS and Aveva Global for more than 15 years. They acknowledge the value this software has brought when executing field development, maintenance and modification projects as well as during the operation and revamp of its portfolio of facilities.

Those acquisition discussions – November

In November 2015, Aveva provided an update on the Schneider Software acquisition discussions, that were undergoing due diligence studies.

The combined company was seen by Aveva in their November update as potentially one of the world’s leading industrial software companies, with an unmatched breadth of product offering covering all aspects of the digital asset including process simulation and optimization, detailed engineering design, operations and asset lifecycle management and supervisory control. One key benefit for Aveva would be a better, bigger presence in North America, and a significant presence amongst owner operator customers. They then went on to report on the Schneider Software H1 figures for 2015, which was decent of them, if not a little surprising! This perhaps reflected an Aveva belief that they were the acquiring party, picking up some Invensys businesses that Schneider did not want any more?

The quoted Schneider results showed a 7% drop in sales, driven by a -7% FX translation effect. Maintenance revenue increased by a high single digit figure, YOY. EBITA was in line with the previous year on a constant currency basis.

The conclusion – in December

Then a statement came on December 15 that the Schneider – Aveva talks had been unable to reach any agreement on the terms of the transaction. The Aveva statement suggested that “During the due diligence process significant integration challenges were identified that could not be overcome without considerable additional risk and cost. This was exacerbated by the highly complex structure of the proposed transaction.”

Meanwhile the Aveva interim/half year results showed a drop of 5% in revenue compared to 2014, and a drop of 50% in the profit and earnings after adjustments to the basic figures, to account for some amortisation and exceptional items. Without the adjustments, Aveva showed a small loss.

The Aveva Board confirms that Aveva trading has continued in line with the Board’s expectations and the Board’s view on the outlook for the full year remains unchanged. The future strategy and expansion plans might need a little change however….

Last July, the rumours had been that Emerson, GE and Siemens were all measuring Aveva up for a bid, so the business is back in the melting pot: although Schneider obviously has significantly more information than the rest.

@Processingtalk

(c) Nick Denbow  – Processingtalk.info

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