Actuators support the automation of a tank farm at Bio Bio in South America. Specialist actuation solutions for refinery applications automate the valves for a pipeline system that pumps crude oil into tanks.
The Bio Bio is a river and a region in Chile that is fully dependent on super tankers that deliver crude oil and gas which is stored at the coast. In a contract awarded by Empresa NAcional del Petroleo, one of South America’s largest energy suppliers, A fieldbus actuation solution was installed to automate 220 tank farm valves that had previously been manually operated. Due to the scale of the plant, with distances up to 400m between some of the tanks, automation measures were required to ensure efficient flow control.
Certification to prove explosion protection for its products has been provided by AUMA. The company also took responsibility for adapting mechanical valves plus sizing, supplying, mounting and commissioning actuators. Furthermore a sub-system for a master station was supplied and a Distributed Control System (DCS) integration was implemented. The installation incorporates the latest Modbus loop solution which is an AUMATIC integral actuator with integrated repeater function: this ensures that issues of redundancy are addressed therefore, in the event of any interruption of the loop, all actuators remain accessible. This solution also enables connection of the distributed actuators via standard cables over long distances. As a result, the communication infrastructure has been realised without the use of expensive fibre optical cables. For the Bio Bio installation, the final network covered a length of just under 4km. The international team of actuator specialists that combined resources to support the Bio Bio project included representatives from the company’s German headquarters, the organisation’s local office in Chile along with local business partners.