Automation facilitates the development of LNG infrastructure
Transmission of energy will become more efficient with the use of measurement data.
Next year, the Valmet technology group and energy company Gasum will pilot a new centralized system of production and logistics of LNG, liquefied natural gas, which utilizes measurement data in real time.
From Valmet Jani Hautaluoma, Director, Process Industry says that the previous LNG production plants and terminals have had their own internal automation systems, and data has not transferred automatically between the different systems. “With the help of real-time measurement data and online connections, we are able to gather all data in one place.”
The system measures the amount of LNG in the container in real time for the purposes of energy planning and forecasts, and the data is available all the way to the terminal where the raw material is turned into gas.
Valmet built the system with its application development partner and the client in six months, on the basis of the local automation systems.
The need for this upgrade emerged on the client’s side. Hautaluoma used to work as LNG Chief Technology Officer in, for example, the Pori LNG terminal project, until about a year ago when he switched tables and started working for Valmet instead.
Caption: Valmet DNA Integrated Operations userinterface
Today, production plants have a great deal of measurement tools, but they are not utilized extensively enough. Data remains scattered.
Therefore, the objective is to create a new, centralized view that offers the same “customer experience” to everyone. Last week, Valmet presented its new service at the Technology17 event.
Gasum is Valmet’s first pilot user, but new plants are expected to join in next year.
“LNG is a growing market and our system also enables new operators to provide a credible service experience.”
In addition to the LNG production plant and terminals, the new, centralized view is useful to logistics companies, shipping companies and customers in the energy field.
With regard to the liquid and gas LNG raw material, its quality, i.e. methane number and ethane content, are monitored during production and transport.
Automated control of the limit values enables more affordable procurement of the raw material from the spot market.
Jani Hautaluoma emphasizes that the newly developed system, Valmet DNA Integrated Operations, is the basic platform which will help boost the degree of automation onto a new level. The production optimizing projects will begin in the next phase.
“In the future, production can be adjusted in accordance with the price indexes, at which point the external factors of production will offer support to planning.”
The system will learn to suggest new operational models and connect with new customers that use energy.
Also, risk control becomes more efficient. In the future, the data could also be useful to safety authorities, for example, who could receive an automatic notification of e.g. an LNG truck that has crashed.
Text and pictures of Jani Hautaluoma: Tero Lehto
Translation of the article in Tekniikka ja Talous magazine. Original text published in Finnish on October 20, 2017.
For more information
jani.hautaluoma at valmet.com