Argentina controls valves under extreme conditions

28 August 2008

An oil pipeline in south-west Argentina is battling fluctuating temperatures with Rotork EH range electro-hydraulic actuators.

Rotork actuators have been used on a pipeline project in Argentina
Rotork actuators have been used on a pipeline project in Argentina

The Puesto Hernanadez-El Corcobo Norte Oil Pipeline traverses 80km of remote and virtually deserted wilderness in the Neuquen area, close to the boarder with Chile.

In this unforgiving environment, where ambient temperatures drop well below zero in the winter, Rotork claims its Modbus-enabled actuators provide reliable, remote valve control.

The actuators provide double-acting on-off control for Wenlen 12” ANSI Class 600 pipeline ball valves in six locations along the pipeline’s route through the wilderness. The self-contained Rotork EH actuators operate from a 24 Volt DC power supply, facilitating a solar powered solution.

The EH actuator design comprises an integrated control module, a hydraulic manifold and a power unit consisting of a motor, hydraulic pump and reservoir. Protected by a waterproof and explosion proof enclosure, EH electronic functionality benefits from Rotork’s IQ intelligent electric actuation technology, providing configuration, diagnostics, fault indication and position indication by means of a digital visual display and non-intrusive, two-way infrared communication with a hand-held programmer. The actuators on the Puesto Hernandez-El Corcobo Norte Oil Pipeline are controlled and monitored by a SCADA system utilising the Modbus digital bus protocol.

Gabriel De Visnyey, Rotork Fluid Systems regional sales manager for Latin America, said: “The combination of features inherent in the EH design makes it an ideal choice for remote pipeline valve actuation and facilitates the use of renewable energy sources, such as solar power.”

The Puesto Hernandez-El Corcobo Norte Oil Pipeline has been constructed by engineering contractor Arcan with procurement and construction contractor Skanska S.A. for Petroandina Resources, the Argentinian oil transportation company. The EH actuators were supplied and commissioned by Rotork’s agent in Argentina, Industrias Metalart S.A. and the solar powered power supplies were designed and manufactured by Solartec.

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