Emerson’s DeltaV™ process automation system and SmartProcess™ Distillation Optimizer improve performance and efficiency of gas distillation columns at Hungarian plant
MOL Group has improved energy efficiency and process stability at its gas distillation plant in Algyõ (HU), by implementing advanced process control technology from Emerson Process Management. The improvements have reduced energy costs by €1,200,000 per year.
MOL Group is one of Central Europe’s leading international oil and gas companies, and its Algyõ plant has the capacity to process up to 12 million cubic metres of gas per day.
As part of an on-going energy saving initiative, MOL upgraded the plant’s distributed control system to Emerson’s DeltaV™ process automation system. They then took advantage of the DeltaV system’s embedded advanced process control (APC) capabilities by adding Emerson’s SmartProcess™ Distillation Optimizer, which enables model predictive control for distillation columns. Together these technologies have improved control and optimised performance of the plant’s gas fractionation section.
“Our experiences show that distillation columns are highly interactive, multivariable processes that are difficult to control,” said Attila Bodócs, Production Chief at MOL. “Emerson’s DeltaV distillation solution was customised for our application and was exactly what we needed.”
One of the reasons MOL selected the DeltaV system was that Emerson had engineered an advanced process control package for distillation columns using standard components in the DeltaV control system. In addition to simplifying implementation, this approach eased operator adoption of the advanced controls.
By automatically adjusting key flows on the column, the SmartProcess Distillation Optimizer allows MOL to make product reliably, safely and to customers’ requirements and, at the same time, optimise energy usage.
Project management was provided by Emerson’s European strategic services group, with support from the local Emerson team in Hungary. As soon as the advanced controls were commissioned on the first column, MOL began to gain the benefits they had sought – including ensuring that product quality matched customers’ requirements without using more energy than needed.
Emerson’s distillation solution has now been applied to five of the plant’s six gas distillation columns. Hot oil consumption has been reduced by 40 per cent, and operational stability has improved as the process is automatically corrected for variations. Operator workload has also been reduced since there is no longer the need to make the small manual adjustments previously necessary to keep the column operating at the product quality limits.
“Overall, we are really pleased with this project,” continued Bodócs. “Emerson’s DeltaV system and its embedded APC tools, as well as its engineering and consultancy services, have been instrumental in helping MOL achieve such a significant improvement in energy efficiency.”