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Petropiar Oil Refinery Wins 2008 Hart Plant of the Year

Use of Hart technology is credited for flawless start-up and 60 percent reduction of lost profit opportunities caused by instrument faults.

The Hart Communication Foundation (HCF) announced on Nov. 20 that the PDVSA Petropiar oil refinery, located in Mejorador Jose, Barcelona, Venezuela, has been selected as recipient of the 2008 Hart Plant of the Year Award. The award is given annually to and end-user company to recognize the people, companies and plant sites around the globe that are using the capabilities of Hart Communication in real-time applications to improve operations, lower costs and increase availability.

The Petropiar (formerly Petrolera Ameriven) facility, which employs 1,500 people, processes synthetic crude from the Orinoco basin at the rate of 248,000 barrels per day (bpd). The Hart Communication Protocol is included in 5,000 instruments associated with the plant’s control system. The company’s main goal was to implement predictive device diagnostics on all instrumentation. As a result, in the first four years in operation, Petropiar realized a reduction in pre-commissioning and commissioning time, improved process and device documentation and reduced loop check time by 60 percent, the HCF said.

Flawless start-up

The use of Hart technology also allowed for a flawless start-up without a single failure attributed to instrumentation during this period, and the facility was able to eliminate 95 percent of the bad actors reported by its asset management application, the HCF announcement continued.

“Since our plant went on line in January 2004, Hart technology has opened a door of opportunity to the reliability community,” says Mariela León, Petropiar instrumentation reliability leader. “Using Hart, we were able to optimize our work process, creating a reduction of maintenance costs, which led to a 60 percent reduction of LPO (lost profit opportunity) caused by instrument faults. Eliminating bad actors and having the ability to reduce random failure has resulted in a reported reduction of LPO in the order of $70 million (USD) in two years.”

“Hart technology was initially used to pinpoint a bad valve positioner which provided the justification to change or add positioners to 400 valves,” adds Livia Lefebre, Petropiar reliability superintendent. “We demonstrated the Partial Valve Stroke application to management, who then approved its use—which significantly increased the time between required shutdowns.”

Two from one

According to León and Lefebre, the company’s engineering teams also found Hart technology useful with SIL (Safety Integrity Level) determination, and, because they spent maintenance time only on devices with a problem, they were able to create two work shifts using the same manpower regularly used on a single shift.

“Petropiar is a perfect example of how the power of Hart can be used to lower cost, improve plant availability and contribute to keeping your plant competitive. We congratulate Petropiar for their foresight, planning and vision in building a plant infrastructure that allowed the utilization of the intelligent capabilities of Hart-enabled instrumentation,” said HCF Executive Director Ron Helson.

The HCF encourages nominations for Hart Plant of the Year from all world areas. Nominations are accepted through May of each year. Previous recipients are StatoilHydro (Norway); BP Canada Energy (Canada); Sasol Solvents (South Africa); Clariant (Germany); BP Cooper River (USA), Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (USA) and Dupont (USA).

Hart Communication Foundation

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