Emerson SIS burner management system for Sasol

Emerson Process Management has successfully completed a DeltaV SIS burner management system migration project for the Sasol integrated chemical plant in Sasolburg, South Africa.

Sasol is a global energy and chemical company that produces fuel, oil, gas, polymers, chemicals, and fertilisers. The company has a large market for waxes that are used for an array of applications including adhesives, construction boards, cosmetics, packaging, pharmaceuticals, polymer processing, rubber, and tyres.

A burner management system (BMS) is the last line of defence in preventing the catastrophic failure of boilers, fired heaters, and other industrial heating systems. In the wax work-up production process at the Sasol plant, the old burner management system for a distillation column furnace reached its end of life and had to be replaced. Running continuously with scheduled shutdowns occurring between two to five years apart, this furnace was very critical to the production and its failure would cause a production loss of up to $150k per day.

Sasol selected Emerson and its local business partner, Aveng Automation and Control Solutions (A&CS), to migrate the old system to the Emerson DeltaV SIS for Burner Management during the annual plant shutdown in 2014. The solution ensured that it would be integrated seamlessly into the plant DeltaV distributed control system, which Sasol adopted in 2012. Moreover, it fulfilled the Sasol objective, which was to be in full compliance with the South African National Standards (SANS) accreditation 329, which sets the safety standards for industrial thermo-processing equipment.

“Safety is a top priority and a core value at Sasol,” said Willie de Beer, Senior Control Technician from Sasol Wax. “Emerson demonstrated technology leadership and project expertise, and together with the excellent local support from Aveng, this ensured a smooth migration process that was completed quickly and ahead of schedule. Through their support, we were able to deploy an advanced system to protect our people and assets from burner hazards.”

The Emerson Burner Management application allows the furnace to go safely through all relevant states, from start-up, to operation and shutdown when needed. It comes with IEC 61508 TÜV certified function blocks that simplify logic configuration, testing, and troubleshooting. An intuitive, graphical control environment conveys critical information in a single glance so operators can understand furnace conditions in real-time, put burners and igniters in and out of service safely and fast, and initiate other timely actions to maintain safe operating conditions.

“We are very happy that we have been able to help Sasol achieve this state of the art burner management,” said Peter Zornio, chief strategic officer for Emerson. “This project demonstrates our DeltaV SIS system flexibility, which has been able to meet BMS needs, increase visibility to plant processes involving fired equipment, and reduce engineering and complexity in system planning, design, configuration, and testing.”

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