Compressor Controls: Saudi Aramco Buys First GE Compressor Control Systems


By Walt Boyes

May 21, 2013

GE's Measurement and Control business has replaced an aging compressor control system at Saudi Aramco's Haradh gas/oil separation plant in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province with advanced technology that automates the control process for three critical compressors at the plant.

The previous compressor control system used programmable logic controllers (PLCs) which GE replaced with a Mark Vle control system platform and OptiComp control software. The new system features anti-surge capability, motor limit set points, pressure control, discharge pressure and pressure override control.

The system also has remote control capability from the plant's existing distributed control system.

GE also saved significant plant space by building a single platform to control all three compressors. Two of the compressors run in parallel, and one is a low pressure compressor running in series. 

GE also performed surge tests on all units to help optimize compressor performance. These tests enabled GE to improve the performance of the low pressure compressor, reducing degradation and expanding the operating envelope of the compressor.

The new system was commissioned earlier this year and is operating successfully at the plant, according to Ahmad Saleh, the Saudi Aramco project engineer. "The updated control system is now in full operation and is satisfying all of our performance expectations."

Although GE has provided turbine and generator controls for Saudi Aramco in the past, this marks the first compressor control project with Saudi Aramco for GE's Measurement and Control business.

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