At the Fieldbus Foundation's General Assembly held March 24-25 at the Houstonian Hotel, Houston, Texas, the keynote address was delivered by B.R. Mehta, senior vice president, Reliance Industries Ltd., who described the installation of Foundation fieldbus at the new Jamnagar Refinery & Petrochemicals complex in Jamnagar, Western India.
Mehta serves as chairman of the Fieldbus Foundation's End User Council-India and is a member of its End User Advisory Council (EUAC) worldwide. In addition, he is chairman of the Instrumentation Experts Club in Mumbai, India, and sits on the Board of Governors for Automation 2010-India's largest industrial automation exhibition and conference planned for September 21-24 in Mumbai.
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During his keynote address, Mehta described how Reliance Industries sought to deploy a world-class control system utilising the latest technology to achieve operational excellence at the Jamnagar refinery complex. This facility, which is recognised as the largest refinery installation of Foundation technology to date, is India's largest private sector enterprise. The Jamnagar operation has a production capacity of 580,000 barrels-per-day (bpd), and together with Reliance's neighboring 660,000 bpd existing refinery, forms the world's largest refining complex with a 1.24 million bpd capacity.
Mehta said, "As part of the Jamnagar Export Refinery Project (JERP), our goal was to create next-generation control systems utilising the rich intellectual property of our refining process, coupled with the latest automation technology, in order to achieve operational excellence unparalleled in the world. In particular, the mission of process automation was to provide operational excellence in monitoring, controlling, and managing the process and the business; and to achieve an optimal level of integration between process control, operation support, and business support systems."
He continued, "In seeking the optimal plant control solution, our team of experts from operations, maintenance and projects visited all major DCS vendor technology laboratories, as well as various end user sites in China. We also considered references from other major petroleum industry companies in terms of technology advancement. In the end, we concluded that Foundation fieldbus is a well-proven automation platform, which is non-proprietary, open and interoperable, and involves continuous supplier innovation. The Foundation infrastructure is vendor-neutral and standards-based, and provides end-users with a common framework to implement and manage the most advanced control strategies.
"Our (Reliance) specifications are now based on Foundation fieldbus, and so far our experience in handling this technology has been very good," Mehta added. "Based on feedback received from other plants worldwide, we believe the major benefit of the Foundation solution is in asset management. Our next goal will be to get maximum benefit out of our fieldbus installation and take full advantage of our control system capabilities."
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