PPCL to fix control room alarms at Atlantic LNG plant | Automation.com

PPCL to fix control room alarms at Atlantic LNG plant

October 29, 2014 - Continual improvement is a key component in LNG producer Atlantic’s business strategy. One area of improvement identified is Alarm Management. Atlantic has chosen to partner with PPCL to streamline control room alarms across four LNG trains at their Point Fortin plant, on the southwest coast of Trinidad. This area of the project, set to complete in 2015, aims to identify better alarm limits in order to minimise false alarms, increase process safety and reduce the cost of compliance. Overall the project aims to provide the DCS Operator with an effective, sustainable and robust alarm system that enhances situational awareness thereby improving plant reliability.

Atlantic selected PPCL for their proven record of alarm rationalisation projects at oil and gas plants worldwide, as well as use of its revolutionary geometric process control software, C Visual Explorer (CVE). CVE allows engineers to visualise the Operating Envelope, the boundary of where processes normally operate, so they can correctly position alarms. The software is much faster than historical methods, providing engineers with the ability to adjust hundreds of alarm limit variables simultaneously, while seeing a detailed prediction of alarm performance at the same time.

Dr Alan Mahoney, the senior consultant leading the project said “the use of operating envelopes allows us to position alarm limits so that they are consistent with those on many other process variables. We use the percentage of the time that no alarms are present on the operators alarm list display – the ‘clean board rate’ – as an overall measure of alarm system goodness.”

Dr Robin Brooks, Managing Director of PPCL, said, “The PPCL team are delighted to be partnering with Atlantic. We are combining our C Visual Explorer software and alarm rationalisation approach to streamline plant performance, reduce the burden of compliance and make a real impact on the bottom line. We look forward to partnering with Atlantic now and into the future.”

Salma Nagir, project lead and EI&C Engineer II at Atlantic, added, “The PPCL team, led by Dr Alan Mahoney, are already demonstrating outstanding expertise in understanding our processes and the complexities of our alarm system issues. CVE is proving an invaluable tool in analysing multiple variables and setting alarm and operating limits across our four trains. It has significantly reduced the preparation time for alarm rationalization and provides the team with an additional technical assurance on the alarm values selected. We look forward to project completion in the new year.”

About PPCL
Founded in 1994, Process Plant Computing Limited (PPCL) is the brainchild of world-renowned process computing expert and chemical engineer, Dr Robin Brooks. After many years working with multi-dimensional geometry made possible by Inselbergs parallel coordinate transformation, PPCL’s team are applying his research to improve the business efficiency of process plants worldwide.

The result is innovative end-user applications based on unique Geometric Process Control (GPC) technology. By integrating process control, quality control and process alarms, PPCL is delivering an industry-first general method of calculating values for alarm limits and alerts. Today, PPCL solutions are used worldwide as a driving force for tightly controlled processes that deliver value directly to the bottom line.

About Atlantic LNG
Atlantic was incorporated in 1995 to develop a natural gas liquefaction plant in Point Fortin, Trinidad and Tobago. Their primary business is the liquefaction of natural gas. They employ over 700 persons full-time, of which 98% are citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.

They are one of the world’s largest producers, operating a four-train liquefaction facility with a total capacity of 15 million metric tonnes per annum (tpa). The four trains use the Phillips Optimised Cascade Process. The facility also includes a port area with two (2) 700-metre jetties, an approach channel used by LNG carriers to berth at the jetty, and a turning basin. Each jetty can accommodate an LNG carrier of approximately 145,000 cubic metres in size. Atlantic operates and manages four (4) LNG Trains. Their annual production represents more than half of the economic contribution of the entire Trinidad & Tobago refining sector In 2013, the majority of our cargoes went to markets in South America and Spain. In addition to LNG, the plant also produces natural gas liquids (NGLs) which are delivered to a third party under separate arrangements

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