Tuesday 30 July 2013

Automation contractor for major integrated gas-to-liquids & ethane cracker complex

Comprehensive, long-term automation programme based on its PlantWeb™ architecture is one of Emerson’s largest, valued at hundreds of millions of dollars over the life of the project

Sasol, an international integrated energy and chemical company, has chosen Emerson Process Management, for a comprehensive programme to automate its planned integrated gas-to-liquids (GTL) and world-scale ethane cracker complex in Lake Charles, (LA USA).

The automation programme’s overall scope – including dozens of integrated process units and more than 100,000 measurement and control points – makes it one of the largest Emerson has been awarded.

Sasol anticipates a total investment of $16 billion to $21 billion in the two facilities. When completed, the GTL plant will transform the region’s abundant low-cost shale gas into high-performance, low-emissions diesel and other transportation fuels. The adjacent ethane cracker and derivatives plant will convert ethane to ethylene and other downstream derivatives.

As main automation contractor, Emerson will provide the majority of the process automation technologies, engineering, and on-going support services for the operations under a long-term agreement. The two companies will work closely together to chart on-going automation activities shaped by the facilities’ performance.

"We were seeking a trusted partner to execute the key automation portion of this programme," said Johan du Preez, Executive Vice President of Sasol US Mega Projects. "Emerson has the expertise, technologies, and experience – particularly on large, complex projects, to help us optimise the return on these investments for years to come."

Emerson’s automation solution for the Sasol plants is based on its PlantWeb™ digital plant architecture, which includes its industry-recognised control and safety systems, control valves, and measurement and analytical instruments. Initial automation planning and engineering work begins immediately.

"We are excited to work with Sasol to bring these facilities online," said Steve Sonnenberg, president of Emerson Process Management. "This project will tap natural gas supplies to generate high-value products and help grow the economy. We will work hard to maintain the trust that Sasol has shown in our people, processes and technologies."

Emerson has added more than 2,500 engineers and is extending its services programme to provide rapid and comprehensive support that can help keep plants running at peak efficiency and reliability. Emerson plans a significant service facilities and personnel expansion in Louisiana with the development of a global service centre in Gonzales, (LA USA).

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