Progress Continues on Petrobras Evolution

March 26, 2009
ABB Reports on Its Five-Year Agreement with Brazilian Oil and Gas Giant Petrobras

Petrobras, the Brazilian oil and gas giant, recently undertook an extensive five-year agreement with ABB to upgrade its refineries to the System 800xA architecture for both automation and power control. The project consists of the retrofit and integration of existing Infi90 control systems, an existing System 800xA, an Advant system controlling the plant power system and, in the future, six more 800xA implementations as plant expansions come on-line to improve the product quality of fuel to meet U.S. import requirements.

Eliane Valvano Corrêa da Silva from the Petrobras REDUC refinery was in the midst of a site acceptance test (SAT) for one phase of the project, so was unable to attend this week’s ABB Automation and Power World conference. In her stead, ABB’s Antonio Carvalho updated attendees on progress made to date on the ambitious project.

“We’ve supplied an entire operator training and simulation facility, including portable buildings.”  ABB’s Antonio Carvalho gave an update on Petrobras’ five-year modernization plan.

The project at REDUC consists of two phases. In Phase A, the DRT (distillation and reformation) and DCCF (fluid catalyst cracking and deasphaltation) units will be upgraded. In the B phase, the TM Thermo electrical system will be upgraded to 800xA workstations. “In most cases in both phases, the existing controllers will be maintained,” Carvalho said.

“Most of the project is a pretty common ABB scope,” Carvalho explained, “but there are also some uncommon attributes to this project. We are supplying the electrical system integration and the field installation, and we’ve supplied an entire operator training and simulation facility, including portable buildings.”

“The first part of the project was to integrate the Harmony library and create System 800xA graphic elements that were identical to the Infi90 screens, so the operator comfort level would be very high when the changeover occurs,” Carvalho said. “Infi-90 RCM and MSDD blocks were made to look like AC800M faceplates, with differences only in the extended faceplate. The faceplates may use descriptors from Infi-90 database or new ones inserted in the 800xA system,” Carvalho continued.

The DRT has completed its SAT, and is one month into the three-month, parallel operation portion of the changeover. Currently, the operators can see both the old system and the new System 800xA simultaneously. Operating changes are still being implemented in the old system, so the new system can be checked rigorously during operation.

The first two systems are operational and connected to the Infinet network, Carvalho said. DRT workstations are installed and operating in parallel with the old Infi90 console. DCCF Operator training ends on March 31, and Valvano is starting the SAT this week. For the TM upgrade, operator training begins in April.

For most of these projects at Petrobras, Carvalho reports, “Phase one is evolution of the consoles, with phase two the evolution of the controllers.” Other Petrobras refineries are already replacing older control systems with System 800xA. “We have over 62 people in Brazil working just on the Petrobras projects,” he concluded.