Emerson automates Motiva Norco refinery in Louisiana

  • July 10, 2007
  • Emerson Automation Solutions
  • News
AUSTIN, TEXAS - July 10, 2007 - Emerson Process Management announced the completion of a digital automation project that has substantially increased the reliability and performance of Motiva Enterprises LLC's refinery in Norco, Louisiana. Motiva is an oil refining, lubricants and retail business operation owned by Shell and Saudi Refining Inc. A leading U.S. refinery, Motiva Norco processes 225,000 barrels per day of crude oil, ranking it among the largest refineries in the world. Its daily production includes about 10 million gallons of gasoline and about 7 million gallons of jet fuel.Refineries such as Motiva Norco distill crude oil into components called fractions, treat the fractions to remove impurities, and chemically convert them into products like diesel fuel and gasoline. Fractions are then combined to create various blends of gasoline. The Norco refinery blends finished product for New Orleans and other nearby markets.As Main Automation Contractor for the project, Emerson performed engineering, project management and installation of its PlantWeb digital architecture. The project scope encompassed seven major process units and consolidated five separate control rooms into one centralized, integrated control room. Digital automation was installed in various process units, including a coker, a hydrocracker, two catalytic reformers, a diesel hydrotreater, a naphta hydrotreater, and a hydrogen unit. "A few years ago Norco cokers, reformers and hydrotreaters were running with pneumatic controls," said Jeff Funkhouser, operations manager at the Norco Refinery. "Increased sulfur content in crude demanded better hydrotreater and coker performance." "Modernization of instrumentation and controls had not kept pace with other improvements to key units at the refinery," he added. "Poor reliability and frequent shutdowns were undermining the refinery's efforts to serve the market effectively. Our instrumentation was not up to the challenges of the 21st century."Motiva Norco made the decision to re-instrument the plant with the goal of increasing reliability to world-class standards. "We looked for a company that had the right technology and also a strong support network that would be available to us," said Evelio Hernandez, manager process control systems department at Motiva Norco Refinery. "We selected the PlantWeb digital plant architecture from Emerson Process Management. We also selected Emerson as our main automation contractor because of its proven project management experience and intimate knowledge of the technology we had selected."The re-instrumentation project has yielded solid results already for the facility, including its best-ever reliability utilization year on record, and increased output without adding new units and the huge investment and leadtime that would have been required. "It has been very exciting to join the highly professional Motiva Norco refining team and bring together digital automation services, technology and people to produce such outstanding results," said John Berra, president of Emerson Process Management. "The teamwork has been great throughout the project, and we are committed to having this ongoing partnership continue to build automation excellence leading to higher and higher performance." PlantWeb architecture is an open, standards-based digital automation solution that networks intelligent field devices, digital systems, and software to control processes and manage equipment and other assets. It delivers information for facilities management, including predictive alerts of pending malfunctions and guidance for corrective action to avoid production interruptions and shut downs. At the Motiva refinery, PlantWeb uses FOUNDATION fieldbus communications to network Emerson's DeltaV digital systems, Rosemount flow, level and temperature instruments, Micro Motion Coriolis Flowmeters and Fisher valves with Fisher FIELDVUE digital valve controllers. Predictive diagnostics information is collected by AMS Suite: Intelligent Device Manager which delivers alarms and data to operations and maintenance personnel.About Emerson Process Management Emerson Process Management, an Emerson business, is a leader in helping businesses automate their production, processing and distribution in the chemical, oil and gas, refining, pulp and paper, power, water and wastewater treatment, food and beverage, pharmaceutical and other industries. The company combines superior products and technology with industry-specific engineering, consulting, project management and maintenance services. Its brands include PlantWeb, DeltaV, Fisher, Micro Motion, Rosemount, Mobrey, Bristol, Daniel, Ovation, and AMS Suite.About EmersonEmerson (NYSE: EMR), based in St. Louis, is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions to customers through its network power, process management, industrial automation, climate technologies, and appliance and tools businesses. Sales in fiscal 2006 were $20.1 billion. Learn More

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