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Liquified Natural Gas Producer Streamlines Control Room Alarms

Continual improvement is a key component in LNG producer Atlantic’s business strategy. One area of improvement identified is Alarm Management. Atlantic has chosen to partner with PPCL to streamline control room alarms across four LNG trains at their Point Fortin plant, on the southwest coast of Trinidad. This area of the project, set to complete in 2015, aims to identify better alarm limits in order to minimise false alarms, increase process safety and reduce the cost of compliance.  Overall the project aims to provide the DCS Operator with an effective, sustainable and robust alarm system that enhances situational awareness thereby improving plant reliability.

Atlantic selected PPCL for their proven record of alarm rationalisation projects at oil and gas plants worldwide, as well as use of its revolutionary geometric process control software, C Visual Explorer (CVE). CVE allows engineers to visualise the Operating Envelope, the boundary of where processes normally operate, so they can correctly position alarms. The software is much faster than historical methods, providing engineers with the ability to adjust hundreds of alarm limit variables simultaneously, while seeing a detailed prediction of alarm performance at the same time.

Dr Alan Mahoney, the senior consultant leading the project said “the use of operating envelopes allows us to position alarm limits so that they are consistent with those on many other process variables. We use the percentage of the time that no alarms are present on the operators alarm list display – the ‘clean board rate’ – as an overall measure of alarm system goodness.”

Dr Robin Brooks, Managing Director of PPCL, said, “The PPCL team are delighted to be partnering with Atlantic. We are combining our C Visual Explorer software and alarm rationalisation approach to streamline plant performance, reduce the burden of compliance and make a real impact on the bottom line. We look forward to partnering with Atlantic now and into the future.”

Salma Nagir, project lead and EI&C Engineer II at Atlantic, added, “The PPCL team, led by Dr Alan Mahoney, are already demonstrating outstanding expertise in understanding our processes and the complexities of our alarm system issues.  CVE is proving an invaluable tool in analysing multiple variables and setting alarm and operating limits across our four trains. It has significantly reduced the preparation time for alarm rationalization and provides the team with an additional technical assurance on the alarm values selected.  We look forward to project completion in the new year.”

Process Industry Informer

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