Plock Olefins 3 complex to feature enhanced automation, efficiency controls

June 1, 2022
PKN ORLEN let a contract for automation and safety systems to improve production, energy, and environmental efficiency at the proposed Olefins 3 complex to be built as part of the operator’s PDP program at the refining and petrochemical site in Poland.

Polski Koncern Naftowy SA (PKN ORLEN) has let a contract to ABB Ltd. to provide a suite of automation and safety systems to improve production, energy, and environmental efficiency at the proposed Olefins 3 complex to be built as part of the operator’s Petrochemicals Development Programme (PDP) at the existing 16.3-million tonnes/year (tpy) dual refining and petrochemical manufacturing site in Plock, Poland (OGJ Online, May 19, 2022).

As part of the contract, ABB will install its proprietary ABB Ability System 800xA distributed control system (DCS) across the entire Olefins 3 project to enable PKN ORLEN’s constant monitoring and analysis of plant productivity, the service provider said in a June 1 release.

Use of the ABB Ability System 800xA control architecture will allow PKN ORLEN, in real time, to maximize asset performance, increase production yield, manage power consumption, ensure product quality, and optimize process efficiency throughout the new complex, ABB said.

In line with PKN ORLEN’s objective to achieve a 30% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions per tonne of product at the site, the continuous stream of data delivered by the DCS additionally will equip the operator to make more informed, accurate decisions that drive efficient use of energy across the complex, including maintaining tight controls over raw-material consumption, plant energy levels, and waste by-products, according to ABB.

Alongside the DCS, ABB said it will also deliver several systems aimed at ensuring the Olefins 3 complex operates at optimum safety levels. These new systems—which will be complemented by an unidentified industrial cybersecurity solution focused on mitigating cyberthreats to the complex—include a burner management system, an emergency shutdown system, and a high-integrity pressure protection system.

Working alongside the Olefins 3 complex’s main engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning contractors Hyundai Engineering Co. Ltd. and Técnicas Reunidas SA to complete installation of the new systems, ABB said it will employ its proprietary Adaptive Execution project methodology, which harnesses virtual engineering and digitalization elements to deliver a streamlined, standardized process that can lower delivery time by up to 30%, startup hours by up to 40%, and overall automation-related capital costs by up to 40% (OGJ Online, Aug. 9, 2021).

The service provider, however, did not reveal a value of the contract.

Europe’s largest petrochemical project in 20 years, as well as PKN ORLEN’s largest capital investment ever, the 13.5-billion zloty Plock Olefins 3 expansion comes as an initiative to advance a pillar under the operator’s ORLEN 2030 strategy specifically involving maximizing profitability of its existing operations to increase overall competitiveness and improve energy efficiency (OGJ Online, May 13, 2020).

The grassroots Olefins 3 complex will include construction of a new 740,000-tonnes/year (tpy) steam cracker, the upgrade of an existing 300,000-tpy ethylene unit, and the shuttering of Plock’s more than 40-year-old, original 340,000-tpy ethylene unit.

Designed to increase Plock’s ethylene production capacity by 60% to 1.04 million tpy from 640,000 tpy, the Olefins 3 project also will include construction of five additional units for production of ethylene oxide, ethylene glycols, pyrolysis gasoline, ethyl tertbutyl ether, and styrene to expand the site’s repertoire of derivates supply to domestic and export markets.

Once in operation, the Olefins 3 expansion will increase the ORLEN Group’s share in the broader European petrochemical market to 6.4% from a current 5%, according to the operator’s website.

Due for mechanical completion in 2024, PKN ORLEN said the Olefins 3 complex remains on schedule for start of commercial production in early 2025.