Stable Operation and Proactive Maintenance Realized at New Coal-chemical Plant in China

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Executive Summary

Sinopec Zhongyuan Petrochemical, China
Sinopec Zhongyuan Petrochemical, China

Coal is an important resource of energy in China, and the conversion of coal to a wide range of chemicals has become increasingly important in recent years. Sinopec Zhongyuan Petrochemical Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "ZPC") is a large joint venture between China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (hereinafter referred to as "Sinopec") and the government of Henan province. With significant support from its parent organizations, ZPC has built a new 600,000 t/y methanol to olefins (MTO) plant and a 100,000 t/y polypropylene plant, along with all the necessary utility and auxiliary facilities, in Puyang. These plants became operational in October 2011 and are of great strategic significance to the development of Sinopec's coal-chemical business.

An MTO plant uses catalysts to convert coal-derived methanol into olefins such as ethylene and propylene. This MTO project uses Sinopec's proprietary S-MTO process, which is characterized by high olefin selectivity, high methanol conversion, and low catalyst consumption. To ensure safe and stable operations at this MTO plant, which handles materials that are highly flammable and explosive, delicate process control is required.

For this large-scale greenfield MTO plant, ZPC and Sinopec Engineering Inc. (an engineering, procurement and construction company referred to henceforth as "SEI") selected Yokogawa China Co., Ltd. as the main control system supplier. For this project, Yokogawa China delivered the CENTUM CS 3000 process control system (PCS) and the Plant Resource Manager (PRM) software package for plant asset management (PAM).

The Puyang MTO plant
The Puyang MTO plant

The Challenges and the Solutions

1. Quick implementation
Because the control logic for the S-MTO process is so complicated, the engineering work for this project was very complex and time consuming. Yokogawa engineers made good use of their deep knowledge and experience in the ethylene and coal chemical fields to expedite work on this project and deliver ahead of schedule very high quality work, which helped to ensure a successful and efficient commissioning and startup. ZPC, SEI, and Yokogawa all took a team approach and worked closely from start to end. Thanks to their good synergy, they were able to complete this project ahead of schedule.

2. Safe and stable operation
To ensure safety at these plants, ZPC needed to closely monitor and control its processes, especially those involving chemical reactions and heat exchange. For this S-MTO project, Yokogawa's PCS was integrated with a third-party safety instrument system, compressor control system, and online process analyzer system via Modbus, which allows operators at the human machine interface (HMI) stations in the central control room to monitor and control operations throughout the plant, ensuring that they can respond quickly when faced with an abnormal situation. Plant safety and stability are thus assured.

The MTO plant's central control room
The MTO plant's central control room

3. Efficient maintenance
The MTO plant has a large number of HART-enabled pressure transmitters, flowmeters, valves, and other devices from different suppliers. Having real-time diagnostics for these devices helps operators keep close track of their status and identify maintenance issues before a device fails. For central management of these devices, they are all integrated with the Yokogawa PCS via the PAM software package. Using the HART protocol and the PCS network, the PAM system gathers all the device data and diagnostic information into a single database. If a device problem is identified, engineers are able to check the device in time and clarify the cause. This centralized asset management minimizes trips to the field and ensures a more proactive maintenance approach. During plant startup, this system also helped the engineers check all loops.

Customer Satisfaction

The Director of the Instruments Department at ZPC points out the following three factors about this project: "First, Yokogawa's CENTUM CS 3000 has excellent reliability and stability. We particularly appreciate its online maintenance capability. Configuration changes are immediately shown on the HMI without interrupting the control function. This is important in completing startup in a short time and improving and optimizing process control. Second, this is an S-MTO pilot project using Sinopec's proprietary technology. During control engineering, Yokogawa's engineers showed that they have a deep understanding of control solutions and a lot of experience in dealing with complex problems. They made good use of their know-how from the petrochemical industry and, working together with engineers from ZPC and SEI, were able in a very short time to produce high quality engineering. Third, ZPC's personnel have considerable experience operating Yokogawa's CENTUM CS 3000 system, enabling the project partners to perform to the best of their abilities during the project implementation phase. At the same time, Yokogawa's engineers were fully involved in the control engineering, FAT, SAT, and startup. Above all, the key to the success of this short-term project was the good cooperation and teamwork of ZPC, SEI, and Yokogawa."


  • 벌크화학

    석유 화학 제품, 무기물 또는 중간체를 생산하든 관계없이 화학 회사는 안전하고 호환되는 작업을 유지하면서 적시에 효율적인 방법으로 제품을 제공하는 비용과 마진 압박에 시달리고 있습니다. 또한 화학 회사들은 공급 원료 및 에너지 가격의 변동에 적응하고 가장 수익성 높은 제품 혼합을 시장에 제공해야 합니다.

    Yokogawa는 벌크 화학 시장의 자동화 요구 사항을 세계적으로 지원해 왔으며 이 시장에서 인정받는 선두 주자입니다. Yokogawa는 제품, 솔루션 및 업계 전문 기술을 통해 시장 및 생산 요구 사항을 이해하고 플랜트의 수명주기를 통해 안정적이고 비용 효율적인 솔루션을 제공하기 위해 협력합니다.

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  • 석유화학

    석유화학 업종 고객사의 요구는 매우 다양합니다. 경쟁이 치열한 오늘날의 시장에서 앞서 나간다면, 생산자는 품질과 생산성을 향상시키기 위해 노력하고 있습니다. Yokogawa는 이 분야에서의 오랜 기간의 광범위한 경험을 바탕으로 이러한 요구에 맞는 맞춤 솔루션을 제공합니다.

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  • 화학

    화학 플랜트는 연속 및 Batch 생산 공정에 의존하며, 각각은 제어 시스템에 대한 다양한 요구 사항을 제시합니다. 연속 공정은 실패하지 않고 생산 라인을 중단시키는 견고하고 안정적인 제어 시스템을 필요로하는 반면, Batch 공정의 중요성은 수식, 절차 및 공정을 조정하는 데 있어 큰 유연성을 허용하는 제어 시스템을 갖추는 데 있습니다. 두 종류의 시스템 모두 제품의 사용 가능한 품질 내역에서 관리되어야 하며 비일상적인 작업을 수행할 수 있어야 합니다. Yokogawa는 광범위한 제품 포트폴리오, 숙련된 시스템 엔지니어 및 글로벌 영업 및 서비스 네트워크를 통해 모든 공장 공정에 대한 솔루션을 제공합니다.

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Related Products & Solutions

  • Plant Resource Manager (PRM)

    신뢰성 높고 안정적인 플랜트 운영을 위해 설비를 제대로 관리하고 계신가요? PRM은 플랜트 수명 주기 전반에 걸쳐 유지보수 계획의 품질을 개선하고 유지보수 비용을 최적화하는 데 기여합니다.

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