Alternative-fuel power plants require versatile process control platforms

Dutch power company chooses Honeywell for DCS at 3-unit, multi-fuel generating plant.
By Control Engineering Staff December 3, 2008

Nuon, a Netherlands-based electric utility , has awarded an $11 million contract to provide process control hardware and software for its Magnum plant near Eemshaven. The three-unit, 1,300 MW combined-cycle power station is currently in its first phase of construction and will come on line in stages.

The plant is noteworthy for its innovative multiple fuel capabilities, its carbon capture ambitions, and its sheer size. Most plants of this nature are considered experimental and much smaller. The first construction phase includes the natural gas-fired part of the plant, which will go into operation in 2011. The second phase will include a process that gasifies coal and biomass. Ultimately carbon capture technology will be added. This will reduce the plant’s carbon footprint substantially below conventional coal-fired facilities, particularly since much of the generating capacity will be based on biomass.

The Magnum plant’s control system will be built on Honeywell’s Experion Process Knowledge System , which will monitor and control the state-of-the-art facility through construction and operation. Honeywell says Experion feeds data from critical plant subsystems directly to operators, supporting real-time decisions that can improve plant safety, reliability and efficiency. Honeywell also will implement its Safety Manager to establish safety practices, such as process and emergency shutdowns, equipment protection, and fire and gas monitoring. Additionally, Honeywell will supply equipment for the operator control room and provide hardware and software engineering and consultancy services, including an operator training simulator.

“The Magnum plant is a window into the future of power generation and therefore an exciting project for us,” says Edwin van den Maagdenberg, regional general manager for Honeywell Process Solutions Northern Europe. “Nuon requires specialized technology that will enable the Magnum site to run efficiently and profitably while minimizing impact to the environment.”

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—Edited by Peter Welander, process industries editor, PWelander@cfemedia.com ,
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