Emerson Digitally Automates $2.7 Billion Shanghai SECCO Petrochemical Complex


Emerson Process Management announced the completion of a digital automation project at one of the largest integrated petrochemical complexes in China. Shanghai SECCO Petrochemical Company selected Emerson in 2003 as its digital automation partner for the $2.7 billion, 10-plant ethylene cracker complex.

Located in the Shanghai Chemical Industrial Park about 50 kilometres from Shanghai, the complex will annually produce 900,000 tons of ethylene and more than 2 million tons of other related petrochemical products used in the plastics and synthetics industries. The ethylene cracker, SECCO's core plant in the complex, is the largest in China, as well as one of the largest in the world.

SECCO used the engineering and project management expertise of Emerson to integrate and co-ordinate multiple suppliers, enabling completion of the complex - from bare ground to a fully functional world-class facility -- in just 27 months, three months ahead of schedule. Start-up of the ethylene cracker plant in March 2005 took just 10 hours, 45 minutes, a world record, according to SECCO, for a project of this magnitude.

Emerson installed PlantWeb digital architecture throughout the SECCO complex, which contains 47,000 control loops, 40,000 instruments, and some 13,000 intelligent devices networked in the world's largest FOUNDATION fieldbus installation. Fieldbus is an all-digital, open communications approach that connects measurement and control equipment such as sensors, actuators and controllers in processing applications.

Rather than using a centralised project organisation run by an overall project contractor, SECCO - a joint venture between Innovene (formerly BP), Sinopec, and Shanghai Petrochemical Corporation (SPC) - chose an integrated project management team approach, under which each key plant in the complex had a lead project contractor. As the main automation supplier, Emerson not only engineered and implemented the automation and control systems, but also helped manage multiple international and local suppliers for each of the 10 plants in the facility.

According to SECCO, the integrated complex project has a world class safety record, with no major accident and zero fatalities during construction, which included more than 50 million man hours of labour. The site also boasts leading environmental standards. Recognising the key role of automation in the successful project, SECCO recently presented Emerson with the Excellent Supplier Award.

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