Though we often bemoan the cutbacks or delays in automation projects in oil and gas that have been brought on by the low oil prices, some industries are finding ways to capitalize on the low-cost feedstock and increased supplies of U.S. shale gas.
Dow Chemical’s new world-scale propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit in Oyster Creek, Texas, will not only help the company increase its ethylene and propylene production, but will also be tied to a new command center that has earned ABB’s Control Room of the Year Award.
ABB has recognized the Oyster Creek Hydrocarbons Command Center as a modernized control room environment that actively promotes operator effectiveness, safety and production efficiency through ABB’s 800xA control technologies.
“The design of the Hydrocarbons Command Center was the result of our shared vision and close collaboration with ABB,” said Peter Holicki, senior vice president, Dow Operations. “Together we set out to create a work environment where our operators had access to the very best tools and technology, in a workspace designed around their needs, to help them do their jobs safely and efficiently.”
The PDH unit, which is slated for startup in late 2015, is just one of the units that will be controlled by the Hydrocarbons Command Center. It’s part of Dow’s Freeport, Texas, operations, which is the largest integrated petrochemical manufacturing complex in the Western Hemisphere.
The Hydrocarbons Command Center uses ABB’s System 800xA to control all facets of production at the plant. The control room was designed to provide site operators with the latest ergonomic working environment, with all needed functions readily available. System 800xA integrates information from all systems in the plant, and presents that information to the operators in easy-to-access formats for better decision-making and improved overall performance. It also integrates and controls other plant systems and equipment, including electrical systems, variable-speed drives, instrumentation and analyzers.
“We are proud to present the Control Room of the Year Award to Dow. The automation team in Freeport has been a vital partner of ours for many years, seeing the potential value in a modernized control room environment and trusting our hand in helping them to make it a reality,” said Frank Duggan, executive vice president at ABB and executive sponsor for ABB’s Dow relationship. “Dow’s new control room is a best practice in human centered design; this exemplifies what the control room of the future will look like.”