Metso automation and safety for Neste Rotterdam plant

Neste Oil has successfully started up Europe’s largest renewable diesel plant in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands: the official opening was celebrated on December 19th. Metso delivered comprehensive automation and safety solutions for this greenfield plant, which was originally commissioned in September 2011.

”The Rotterdam plant is a significant milestone in Neste Oil’s cleaner traffic strategy and consolidates the company’s position as the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel. We are proud to have been chosen as a partner for this demanding project, where high automation reliability and safety as well as demanding operational features cannot be excessively emphasized,”‘ said Kari Karppinen, Sales Director for the automation business line in Metso.

Metso’s delivery scope included two Metso DNA automation systems: one for the NExtBTL process and another for the utilities processes. The delivery also included several DCS integrated safety systems, field equipment maintenance tools and process history data storage, trending and reporting applications with remote access possibilities.

Metso has a long and extensive experience in automation solutions for oil refineries and petro-chemical plants. Earlier Metso delivered similar automation solutions for Neste Oil’s NExBTL renewable diesel plant in Singapore and several DCS/SIS installations in both their refineries in Finland, at Porvoo and Naantali. Neste Oil and Metso collaboration is continuing further, as laid out in a frame agreement signed in autumn 2011.

The Rotterdam plant has a capacity of 800,000 t/a and will increase Neste Oil’s total renewable diesel capacity to 2 million t/a. Utilizing Neste Oil’s proprietary NExBTL technology, the plant can make flexible use of almost any vegetable oil or waste fat in the production of premium-quality renewable diesel. Neste Oil’s NExBTL renewable diesel is a premium fuel that is compatible with all diesel engines and existing fuel distribution systems. NExBTL helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40-80% compared to fossil diesel.

State-of-the-art features in operator interfaces, diagnostics and system interfaces

“We have been working in close cooperation with Neste Oil and Technip Italy, the EPCM contractor for the site. The automation systems include many state-of-the-art features in operator interfaces, diagnostics and system interfaces jointly developed by Neste Oil and Metso”, Kari Karppinen explains.

One of these features is the comprehensive use of HART data. The HART Protocol is a bi-directional communication protocol that provides data access between intelligent field instruments and the automation system.

At the NExBTL plant, each available HART measurement has been made accessible to the operators. These digital measurements give valuable and accurate information for the demanding process control. In addition, the HART protocol enables field device configuration, versatile diagnostics and troubleshooting.

As for user interfaces and reporting tools, much emphasis has been put on their design and usability. Each process display has been carefully designed in collaboration with the plant operators to provide vital process information clearly and effectively. The user interface also seamlessly combines the tools needed for process disturbance analysis, trending and other process history analyzing tasks.

Furthermore these information tools can be accessed remotely e.g. production efficiency and performance reports can be viewed at Neste Oil headquarters in Espoo, Finland.

Another Metso product delivered to the site is the Metso DNA Field Device Manager, which makes field device management easier and more efficient by providing easy remote field device configuration, calibration and tuning. Online device condition monitoring ensures continuous information on device diagnostics and supports proactive field asset management. It also helps control device performance monitoring and the planning as well as optimization of maintenance work.

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