MTL-Relcom supplies fieldbus components to petrochemical project in China

MTL-Relcom was recently awarded the contract to supply FPS fieldbus power conditioners and 10-way Megablock wiring hubs to the Nanhai project in China.


MTL-Relcom was recently awarded the contract to supply FPS fieldbus power conditioners and 10-way Megablock wiring hubs to the Nanhai project in China. One of the largest fieldbus installations so far, Nanhai has more than 30,000 fieldbus device connections on more than 3,000 segments.

The huge CSPC petrochemical complex is taking shape in the Daya Bay Economic and Technical Development Zone, Guangdong Province, China. The joint venture by Shell Nanhai Ltd., China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC), Guangdong Investment & Development Co., and China Merchants Holdings Co. is investing $4.3 billion in the project. The complex is centered on an 800,000 tons/year Naptha cracker with a total capacity for the complex of 2.3 million tons/year of products. Investment in the fast-track project was launched in November 2002, and complex’s planned start up is in December 2005.

"MTL-Relcom was selected as the supplier of key fieldbus components because of its proven record with Shell and other fieldbus users," says Johan Veerman, CSPS’ principal instrument and process control engineer. "Also, MTL’s ability to support the many engineering contractors throughout the world, and to offer on-site support from their offices in China, is important in this fast-track project. As the most experienced fieldbus physical layer supplier, MTL-Relcom has helped minimize the risk on this prestige fieldbus project."

From the earliest stages of the project, MTL worked closely with CSPC, the project manage-ment contractor, Bechtel, Sinopec Engineering Inc. and Foster Wheeler (BSF), and the main automation contractor to standardize the fieldbus architecture to be implemented on all plants in the complex.

MTL-Relcom’s FPS Series power conditioners were selected because they provide the re-quired isolation between power supply and fieldbus segment, and because their redundant opera-tion delivers high-level availability on many prior fieldbus projects. To improve integration and reduce control room cabinet requirements, MTL-Relcom developed its F600A backplane, and produced prototypes in two weeks to accelerate testing of the direct connection to the redundant Yokogawa ALF111 fieldbus cards.

At one of the first project meetings it was explained that the project had standardized on eight fieldbus devices per segment with a requirement for two spares. When offered a combination of proven eight-way and two-way Megablocks, CSPC stressed that it needed a standardized inte-grated solution for what will be one of the world’s largest FOUNDATION fieldbus projects. In re-sponse, MTL-Relcom produced prototypes of a 10-way Megablock within five weeks, incorporating other special features requested by CSPC. The new 10-way F118-PC Megablock was then selected as the standard wiring solution for use throughout the project.

Because hazardous area certifications are required for instrumentation in the petrochemicals industry, different hazardous area protection techniques were considered in the early designs for this project, and MTL’s product range provided the necessary flexibility, while supporting all hazardous area protection techniques and using the same simple design rules. The Zone 2 certifi-cation of the selected Megablock wiring components allows connection to non-incendive, non-arcing and flameproof certified field devices.

—Jim Montague, news editor, Control Engineering,

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