StatoilHydro bolsters productivity in Snøhvit

13 October 2009

StatoilHydro has integrated process and electrical power systems at its production facility in the Snøhvit natural gas field. The company used ABB’s Extended Automation System 800xA, as a foundation and claimed increased productivity, energy efficiency and grid stability.

Artist’s impression of the subsea gas fields, pipelines and Melkøya LNG plant and terminal. (Image source: StatoilHydro)
Artist’s impression of the subsea gas fields, pipelines and Melkøya LNG plant and terminal. (Image source: StatoilHydro)

Snøhvit is a highly complex installation in which gas is extracted from three fields 143km offshore in the Barents Sea, piped to the onshore terminal, processed into LNG, stored in tanks and loaded onto LNG carriers for transportation to consumer markets in Europe and the United States.

The core products of the plant are liquefied natural gas (LNG; 5.67 billion m³/year), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG; up to 250,000 tons/year) and condensate (up to 900,000 m³/year).

ABB’s scope of delivery for the gas fields and onshore LNG liquefaction plant and export terminal was extensive and the impact of its integrated solutions on productivity, energy efficiency and grid stability has been immense.

ABB provided the subsea and topside automation systems that control production in the gas fields and monitor the pipelines through which the gas is pumped onshore. A staggering number of signals run through ABB systems at any given time - some 40,000 in the electrical control system and more than 30,000 in the safety and process automation system.

Both systems are integrated for topside control and visualisation in the combined safety and automation system for the onshore LNG plant, which is the most critical part of the entire facility.

An equally vast ABB electrical control and supervision system integrates and communicates with the thousands of ABB motors, switches, contactors, circuit breakers and drives as well as third party equipment across the onshore liquefaction plant and LNG terminal.

The ABB Power Management System monitors, controls and protects the entire plant and is designed to prevent, among other things, the effects of a relatively minor fault from cascading into a multi-million-dollar shutdown.

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