Automated flow control for tank terminal

28 February 2012

The recently opened Botlek Tank Terminal (BTT) in Rotterdam relies on electric valve actuation technology, supplied by Rotork, for automated flow control and vital safety related duties associated with the import, export and storage of a varied range of liquid bulk products.

Construction of the first phase of the terminal began in April 2010 and was completed within budget and on time by the Polish company Polimex-Mostostal S.A.
BTT has 34 storage tanks which provide a combined storage capacity of 200,000 cubic metres, of which 130,000 cubic metres is earmarked for clean fuels and the rest is for edible oils and biodiesel. The terminal has deepwater berths including a 420m jetty that can simultaneously accommodate two seagoing vessels and two barges, operating 24 hours-a-day.

Over 250 Rotork IQPro multi-turn and quarter-turn intelligent electric actuators have been installed to operate the valves that control the routine movement of liquids throughout the site. A further 55 Rotork Skilmatic SI self-contained electro-hydraulic actuators have been installed in strategic areas on valves that provide failsafe Emergency Shutdown (ESD) protection from potential accidents and spillages. All the actuators are monitored and controlled on fully redundant Rotork Pakscan digital bus loops, linked by three Pakscan P3 master stations to the site’s central SCADA system.

The Skilmatic SI actuators are equipped with integral circuitry designed to receive a separately hardwired discrete ESD alarm signal that will override any other input and move the actuator to the pre-determined safe position, even in the event of electrical power failure. These actuators are situated on the inlet and outlet ports of the storage tanks and on the marine and truck loading bays. They are key components in the Safety Instrumented System (SIS) that operates with dedicated level and flow sensors and ESD logic solvers to provide the site’s Safety Instrumented Function (SIF).

BTT general manager, Charles Smissaert, pointed out that the Skilmatic electro-hydraulic solution for ESD protection at the site had been selected as a more robust and reliable alternative to air operated actuators, which also require more maintenance.

All actuators installed at the site feature ATEX explosion proof certification and IP68 double-sealed watertight enclosures designed for harsh and exposed environments. They also share Rotork’s IQPro non-intrusive setting, commissioning and data communication technologies, enabling actuator configuration and data logger files to be transferred from the field to the office for diagnostics, analysis and storage. In combination with Rotork IQ-Insight software, this data can help to maximise plant utilisation by identifying potential valve wear problems and facilitating predictive maintenance.

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