Plant of the Year Award Goes to Shell Prelude

Annual award recognizes the people, companies and plant sites around the world that are using the advanced capabilities of FOUNDATION Fieldbus, HART and WirelessHART technology in real-time applications for improved operations, maintenance and asset productivity.

By FieldComm Group

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FieldComm Group has named the Shell Prelude Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) plant/ship of Royal Dutch Shell as its 2017 Plant of the Year. This annual award recognizes the people, companies and plant sites around the world that are using the advanced capabilities of FOUNDATION Fieldbus, HART and WirelessHART technology in real-time applications for improved operations, maintenance and asset productivity.

This is the second Plant of the Year award presented to a Shell facility; the citation was given to Shell Scotford, Alberta, Canada, in 2011.

The Shell Prelude FLNG is scheduled to begin regular operations off the coast of Australia in 2018. The 488m x 71m vessel's 14 production facilities, rising eight stories above the deck, will extract and process for transport about 3.6 million tons per year (Mtpa) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) during its 25-year lifespan.

Shell Prelude FLNG’s process applications employ:

  • More than 8,000 FOUNDATION Fieldbus devices, including 2,500 valve positioners, located on all control and monitoring devices, and connected only to the DCS;
  • More than 4,500 HART devices connected to the DCS and PLCs via HART multiplexers, and used predominantly on devices connected to safety instrumented systems (SIS) and fire and gas (F&G) systems;
  • WirelessHART on some specific applications.

The use of the advanced diagnostics and rationalized device alerts has enabled predictive and targeted maintenance execution on the Shell vessel. While still in a start-up phase, Prelude is operating vast amounts of utility and marine systems, and the benefits of an intelligent instrument management system are already being realized.

At the height of recent commissioning efforts, Prelude's staff was performing more than 500 loop checks per week, and checking multiple streams of complex functions. The vessel's utilities plant was also running 24/7, which made maintenance challenging. Thanks to using templates for its parameters, Prelude's staff and contractors achieved:

  • Total time savings of 80% for device commissioning and loop checking across all devices using device templates;
  • Time savings for the valve positioner loop check procedure was more than 80% for the full loop test;
  • Tested all device types during the factory acceptance test (FAT) in less than three days, compared to previous test using traditional methods, which took more than two days to test just three device types; and,
  • Human error during the FAT was quickly identified allowing for fast correction

"In a nutshell, proactive maintenance was embedded from Day 1 on this project, rather than adding it as a work process on a running facilities," explained Rong Gul, senior automation engineer and subject matter expert (SME) for smart instrumentation and instrument asset management with Shell Global Solutions. "FAT preparation and testing, training, templating, selection of smart instrumentation, rigid work processes, and a management and maintenance organization firmly supporting the technology are mandatory to make proactive maintenance succeed.”

Previous Plant of the Year award recipients include: Nucor Steel (USA), Dow Chemical (USA), Monsanto (USA), Shell (Canada), MOL (Hungary), Mitsubishi Chemical (Japan), PVSDA (Venezuela), Statoil (Norway), Sasol Solvents (South Africa), BP (USA), Clariant (Germany), and DuPont (USA).

To read more about Shell Prelude or articles on previous award winners, please visit the FieldComm Group website.