Malaysian FLNG project for GE

GE Oil & Gas is to supply gas turbine-driven compressor train technology to Malaysia’s national oil and gas company Petronas for a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility that is being developed for use about 180 kilometers off the coast of Bintulu, in Sarawak.

The start-up of the FLNG facility is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2015. It will be designed to produce 1.2 million tons a year (mtpa) of LNG, and boost Malaysia’s total LNG production capacity to 26.9 mtpa, from the current 25.7 mtpa.

GE was awarded the contract with Petronas primarily on the basis of its technology as well as its experience in the LNG and offshore sectors. The order also takes advantage of GE’s global frame agreement with Petronas.

“This contract with Petronas underscores the confidence that gas producers have in our compressor technology to support the global LNG industry—including for one of the world’s first FLNG projects that represents an important growth initiative for our respective companies,” said Prady Iyyanki, president and CEO—turbomachinery for GE Oil & Gas. “We look forward to working with Petronas and its project partners to demonstrate how FLNG can help address Malaysia’s energy needs.”

GE compression trains are vital elements of the liquefaction process, which cools natural gas to a liquid state. GE’s scope of equipment supply includes four of its PGT25+G4 gas turbine generator systems, two PGT25+G4 gas turbine driven compressor units and two electric motor driven centrifugal compressors modules. GE is scheduled to deliver its equipment to Malaysia in August 2013.

GE Oil & Gas has a long relationship with Petronas that dates back to the Malaysia LNG project, about 20 years ago.

GE $1Bn wellhead deal with Petrobras

GE Oil & Gas and Brazilian energy company Petrobras have signed the world’s largest subsea wellhead production contract, worth nearly US$1.1Bn. This includes the delivery of approximately 380 subsea wellhead systems and installation tools needed in oil well exploration, and more than 75 percent of the parts will be made in Brazil.

GE announced the award of the contract at the 2012 Rio Oil & Gas being held September 17-20 in Rio de Janeiro.

“This new agreement between two of the world’s largest companies shows our commitment to collaborate in the development of the oil and gas sector in Brazil,” said João Geraldo Ferreira, president and CEO of GE Oil & Gas for Latin America. “In recent years our investments and efforts have been focused on preparing our company to support market growth and to be ready for contracts of this size, developing the entire supply chain. We want to grow with the country.”

“The new contract builds on our existing relationship with Petrobras and follows previous successful projects,” said Rod Christie, vice president of GE Oil & Gas Subsea Systems. In 2009, GE Oil & Gas and Petrobras signed what was then the biggest wellhead contract in history to date (in terms of number of wellheads), worth US$250 million.

“Through the acquisition of VetcoGray in 2007 and Wellstream in 2011 and ongoing investments in technology, GE has become an established player in the offshore industry,” said Christie. “With more than 5,000 subsea employees operating in more than 50 countries we are supporting some of the industry’s largest and most challenging projects.”

Petrobras plans to install the subsea wellhead systems in various oil and gas fields in Brazil, including sub-salt. The equipment will be produced at the GE plant in Jandira (São Paulo), where GE has invested US$30m to expand production capacity.

“The Jandira facility has been crucial in allowing GE Oil & Gas to provide world-class technology and has prioritized Brazilian-based production, which is a critical component in local social and economic growth,” said Fernando Martins, president of Subsea Systems for GE in Latin America. In the last 30 years, more than 1,200 GE wellhead systems and 180 subsea Christmas trees have been produced and installed in Brazil.

Petrobras is an integrated energy company that operates in 27 countries on five continents. It is a world leader in deepwater and ultra-deepwater oil production and operates approximately 100 production platforms, 15 refineries, 30,000 kilometers of pipelines and more than 6,000 service stations.

GE Oil and Gas is committed to business growth in Brazil and continues to invest in new capacity to take on orders and new industry demands. The US$30 million invested in Jandira (SP) was used for capacity expansion and modernization of the operation. In Niterói (Rio de Janeiro), GE is investing US$200m to expand its flexible line plant, to serve the new sub-salt fields.

In June 2012, GE announced the completion of the US$32m expansion of its plant in Macaé (Rio de Janeiro), tripling the size of the facility and making it GE Oil & Gas’s most modern subsea system services provider in the world. This expansion increased the workforce at the site by 150%.

Second Siemens power plant in Texas

Just two months after the contract was signed with the private equity firm Panda Power Funds for the turnkey supply of a natural-gas-fired combined-cycle power plant in Temple, Texas, Siemens has been awarded a second order by the same customer for an identical project in the city of Sherman. Siemens will supply the plant in consortium with its partner Bechtel. The order volume including a long-term service agreement is approximately USD300 million. The power station with a gross installed electrical capacity of 758 megawatts (MW) will be able to supply the power needs of approximately 750,000 homes in the North Texas area.

Siemens will deliver the power island equipment, including two gas turbines, one steam turbine, three generators and the instrumentation and control system. A long-term service agreement has also been signed for the main generation components. Bechtel will be responsible for the engineering and procurement for the balance of the plant, and the installation, construction and commissioning of the facility. The gas turbines, steam turbine and generators will be manufactured in the Siemens factory in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The new Sherman generating station will be among the cleanest fossil-fuel plants in the United States. The Siemens Flex-Plant 30 technology offers high efficiency and operational flexibility with low emissions. Power generation can commence within ten minutes of start-up, and full base-load power production in less than one hour, allowing rapid response to changing market conditions and enabling the smooth integration of renewable energy sources in the power grid.

Highly efficient and flexible combined-cycle power plants (CCPP) are part of the Siemens Environmental Portfolio. In fiscal year 2011, revenue from the Portfolio totalled about EUR30Bn, making Siemens one of the world’s largest suppliers of such eco-friendly technologies. In the same period, our products and solutions enabled customers to reduce their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by nearly 320 million tons, an amount equal to the total annual COemissions of Berlin, Delhi, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, New York, Singapore and Tokyo.

The Siemens Energy Sector is the world’s leading supplier of a complete spectrum of products, services and solutions for power generation in thermal power plants and using renewables, power transmission in grids and for the extraction, processing and transport of oil and gas. In fiscal 2011 (ended September 30), the Energy Sector had revenues of EUR24.9Bn and received new orders totalling approximately EUR31.8Bn and posted a profit of EUR3.9Bn. On October 1, 2011, the Energy Sector had a work force of more than 82,000. Further information is available at:

ASM Consortium visits BP in Hull

The Abnormal Situation Management (ASM) Consortium met in Hull, UK, for a quarterly meeting to discuss their latest research and administrative business.  The ASM Consortium is an industry organization that includes a wide range of industrial manufacturers, vendors, and universities. The members of ASM have been collaborating for nearly 20 years to address process safety challenges by pioneering innovative automation solutions and operational excellence best practices for managing abnormal situations in industrial facilities. The consortium’s Quarterly Review Meeting (QRM) serves as a platform for members to share ASM best practices and discuss new challenges faced in plant operations.

            The meeting had two key aspects: firstly a visit to BP’s Hull facility, and secondly a workshop around the impact of procedures on abnormal situations. BP has invested in good human factors practices including control room design, operator interface, alarm rationalization and operator training at its Hull facility.

In addition, consortium members and guest speakers discussed how human factors relate to abnormal situation management, and ways it could improve plant safety and efficiency.  Julie Bell, from the UK Health and Safety Laboratory, discussed challenges in assessing high-reliability organizations, adoption of best practices in human factors and assessing human error in process hazard analysis. Dr. C Marijke Gordijn, from the University of Groningen, discussed the impact of lighting on operator performance and health. Other presentations included: “Digital Oil Fields,” “Alarm Enforcement” and “Progress on ISA106.”

“Human performance is critical to plant safety. To continue to reduce the impact of poor human performance on safety, we need to continue to improve approaches to operator training, development and use of procedures, and operator interaction with control systems including alarm,” said Andrew Ogden-Swift, Development and Deployment Lead for the ASM Consortium. “User centered design of facilities and systems will lead to safer and more efficient plants.”

The ASM Consortium started in 1994 to address customer concerns about the high cost of incidents at their plants such as unplanned shutdowns, fires, explosions, or emissions, and this was termed Abnormal Situation Management. An injection of funding from NIST enabled the consortium to spend several years researching and developing highly-advanced concepts to address the problem of abnormal situations. Since then, research has continued and increasing effort has been put into development and deployment of ASM solutions that incorporate ASM knowledge.

The basis of the ASM Consortium is collaboration and information-sharing. By working together, members achieve far more than they could working alone. Research results are published for members, and often further shared by means of webinars, seminars and workshops. User members also guide Honeywell in selection and development of product solutions that incorporate ASM knowledge. Non-members can benefit from ASM Research as ‘ASM Effective Practices Guidelines for Alarm Management’, ‘Display Design’ and ‘Procedural Practices’ are available for purchase on

Emerson and Spectro alliance over oil analysis

Emerson Process Management and Spectro Incorporated have announced an exclusive alliance to combine technical innovation and expertise to deliver expanded best-in-class oil analysis solutions. By integrating Emerson’s industry-leading oil analysis applications for the industrial process industry with Spectro’s extensive oil analysis product line and expertise, users gain more meaningful and accurate information on the health of their machinery, helping to prevent costly machine repairs.

Under the new agreement, Spectro gains rights to a suite of Emerson-developed and patent protected Intellectual Property in the field of oil analysis for predictive machine maintenance. Included in this portfolio of IP are Emerson’s AMS Suite oil analysis software module as well as the CSI 5200 Machinery Health Oil Analyzer, the multi-functional analyser that is uniquely capable of detecting most lubricant-related problems in gears, pumps, compressors, turbines, engines, hydraulics, and process machinery.

With effect from October 1, 2012, Spectro will become the exclusive, world-wide supplier of the CSI 5200 Machinery Health Oil Analyzer product and services offering.

“Emerson and Spectro will work closely as we continue to develop leading technology solutions for the process industry,” said Ron Martin, Vice President and General Manager of Emerson’s Asset Optimization and Lifecycle Care business. “By aligning with Spectro to deliver advanced oil analysis solutions, we can better provide our customers with predictive diagnostics to make more informed decisions about their assets.”

“The relationship with Emerson opens the door for customers to expand their predictive maintenance programmes by accessing the expertise available with Spectro’s extensive oil analysis product line, industry knowledge and global distribution network,” said Brian Mitchell, President and CEO of Spectro Inc. “This means that Emerson customers can now take advantage of the same long-term technology solutions and growth path currently available to Spectro customers worldwide.”

Spectro specializes in analytical instrumentation and software for machine condition monitoring. It is one of the largest global suppliers of oil and fuel analysis instruments to industry and the military. Industry clients include petrochemical, mining and power generation companies, as well as commercial testing laboratories. Spectro’s extensive product offerings include spectrometers for wear metal analysis, lubricant degradation and contamination analyzers, particle analysis instruments and complete turnkey systems for oil or fuel analysis laboratories, all managed by its SpectroTrack software platform. For more information, see

Yokogawa IGCC power plant order in Korea

Yokogawa Electric Korea Co has won an order from Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co to supply a control system for an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plant. This is the first IGCC plant in South Korea and it is being constructed in Taean, South Chungcheong Province, by Korea Western Power Co, a subsidiary of Korea Electric Power Corporation.

This IGCC power plant will have a total output of 300 MW. Following a commissioning period that will commence in December 2015, the plant will begin commercial operation. This order is for the Centum VP integrated production control system, which will control the gasification section, a core plant facility. This order also includes the ProSafe-RS safety instrumented system, which will be used to shut down the gasification section safely in the event of an emergency. Both systems will be delivered in December 2013.

IGCC is a promising next-generation power technology that relies on high temperature and pressure to convert coal to synthesis gas (syngas) for use in gas turbine generators. The exhaust from the turbines is sent to boilers to generate steam, and additional power is generated by steam turbines. This type of plant is thus more efficient than a conventional coal-fired power plant.

Yokogawa Electric Korea was able to win this order because of the high reliability of Yokogawa’s control systems and its excellent engineering capabilities. Founded in 1978, Yokogawa Electric Korea has been offering highly reliable solutions to customers for over 30 years, and has become a top manufacturer of control systems and sensors in its home market. It established a power plant department in 2008 that has been actively promoting sales in the power market. Encouraged by the success in winning this order, Yokogawa will expand this business by offering appropriate solutions to developers of innovative technologies that generate power more efficiently and have less of an impact on the environment.

Iron ore mining without trucks

ABB has won orders totaling $140 million from Vale S.A. to supply automation and electrical equipment for the world’s largest iron ore project investment, which comprises in the development of a mine and a processing plant located in Brazil. 

Located in the Amazon region in northern Brazil, the Carajás Serra Sul S11D project, comprising the mine and processing plant, represents an $8 billion total investment. The project is expected to be delivered in the second half of 2016 and Vale is expecting the issuance of the project’s implementation license in the first half of 2013.

The project will use shiftable conveyor belts instead of off-highway trucks to transport the iron ore from the mine to the processing plant. This is the first time a “truckless” solution will be used on a large scale at an iron ore mine. Truckless systems significantly reduce operating costs and produce lower carbon emissions. If the S11D mine were to be operated using trucks, it would need around 100 off-highway trucks and consume 77% more diesel per year.

For comparison, Vale’s Northern system, located in Carajás, produced 110 million tons in 2011; S11D will have an estimated nominal capacity of 90 million tons per year after the ramp up phase is concluded.

Increased development of mineral resources and mining technologies across the globe represent a key global mega-trend that is an important focus area for ABB’s long-term growth. This project profits from ABB’s deep understanding of advanced solutions for the mining industry.

“This unprecedented project will use the latest ABB automation technologies to truly create the mine of the future, a benchmark in terms of productivity, safety and sustainability,” said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB’s Process Automation division. “The project will allow Vale to increase production by approximately 90 million tons, while substantially reducing emissions and improving operational efficiency and process safety.”

ABB will provide the automation and electrification to transport the ore into the processing plant, and will completely automate all plant processes. The order includes a centralized 800xA control system for processing operations, so that personnel can be located away from the site, for improved safety and continued production. ABB’s solution also enables the automatic recovery and piling of iron ore by controlling and positioning equipment through satellite signal and via GPS, and by using 3D scanning for field screening.

ABB will also provide electrical infrastructure for the new processing plant, related energy distribution equipment for reliable and consistent power supply, and engineering and installation services. The delivery includes medium and low voltage motors for use with frequency converters, the primary power transmission stations, duplication of the telecom system for the railroad and 37 secondary substations in self-contained E-Houses (electrical houses).

Links to more information on this project:

INSIDER newsletter for September

The Industrial Automation INSIDER Newsletter for September has been despatched.

This month the lead article features the Hima-Sella project that is replacing multiple PLC controllers for a leading UK petroleum refinery. Controlled by a HIMax unit, which acts as a data concentrator, and communicates with the remote I/O and network boxes over three fibre-optic control loops, using Ethernet. Hima-Sella is also upgrading the gas processing plant at Seal Sands, as reported on this blog earlier.

The INSIDER then reviews the Shell problems with LNG exploration and development in Australia, and the results of the US CSB enquiry into the BP Macondo well disaster. Meanwhile GE snaps up two more specialist instrument companies in Norway.

The UK leads the world in nuclear power: well maybe not so much currently, but as long as we get some Chinese investment the next UK projects might get off the ground…. Meanwhile Triconex is doing OK in the USA, with nuclear plant revamps using modern digital technology. Yokogawa finds more power projects in southeast Asia, and Rockwell finds a major drive acquisition in China.

There’s plenty of news about Coriolis, and other flowmeters: and some interesting developments with user group events in the USA…..

See the latest INSIDER for the month’s news, before everyone settles down to work and lots more product launches!

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