Kazakhstan, a large former Soviet republic sandwiched between Russia and China, has committed to a Digital Kazakhstan program that focuses on accelerating growth and elevating economic sectors through digitalization by 2022. A high priority for this program that began last year is the digitalization of the oil, gas, and chemical industries. ABB has been awarded a multi-million-dollar contract to be a part of this transformation, modernizing the Shymkent oil refinery in the republic.
First commissioned in 1970, the Shymkent site faces the same kinds of modernization difficulties that many facilities encounter with legacy equipment. ABB will call on its ABB Ability portfolio of digital offerings to increase productivity and lower operational costs—providing sensors, data, and advanced analytics to monitor and assess the real-time health of the plant’s assets to gain critical insights into the assets and production processes.
This digital transformation will also empower operators to make more informed decisions based on live, accurate data and reporting. ABB Ability Asset Performance Management products will help operators prioritize maintenance based on actionable insights. A key change in the operation of the facility will be moving the maintenance strategy from an hourly based system to prescriptive-based maintenance, and also extending the current maintenance annual turnaround intervals at the refinery to a three-year plan.
The Shymkent oil refinery is operated by PetroKazakhstan Oil Products (PKOP) as a joint venture between China National Petroleum and KazMunayGas, the national oil and gas company of Kazakhstan.
ABB will also provide a business consultancy service to PKOP to support the lifecycle of the project and promote the culture change needed to adopt digital practices at the plant. This will include assessing current work processes, leveraging opportunities to increase efficiency and resilience, recommending improvements, and providing expert training.