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First remote FAT at REGAP Refinery

Virtual testing to facilitate modernization, save costs and time while maintaining the highest standards of quality

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REGAP Refinery

In April 2020, Petrobras gave ABB approval to conduct remote factory acceptance tests (FAT) for an automation systems project. The fully online tests were conducted between April 30 and May 7 for implementation in a sulfur recovery unit in Gabriel Passos Refinery (REGAP), which has a production capacity of 50 t/d of elemental sulfur.

REGAP, Petrobras’s fifth-largest refinery, with a processing capacity of 150,000 barrels per day, is located in southeastern Brazil in the state of Minas Gerais, the nation’s economic powerhouse and the heart of its oil industry.

Due to the global health crisis, technicians were unable to travel to the ABB plant in Sorocaba. The FAT was done entirely following technical testing procedures approved by Petrobras.

"We believe that remote plant acceptance tests will be increasingly used by customers globally, as it offers the benefits of a normal FAT with the convenience of being done remotely," noted Adriana Guillen, Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Accounts Manager, ABB.

Main facts 

Industry: 

Chemicals and refining

Service: 

Remote FAT

Customer: 

REGAP Refinery 

Site: 

Minas Gerais, Brazil

Innovative digital format

To allow full visualization of the processes, as well as transmission, the Microsoft Teams platform was used for screen conferencing and sharing, in addition to microphones and auxiliary cameras. All employees followed the required protocols recommended by ABB's Health and Safety Department.

"ABB is always looking to innovate to better serve our customers and this example with REGAP shows it well - in a time of crisis and uncertainty, we brought together our best technicians to create a safe option in accordance with Petrobras’s standards. The idea was not to penalize the project's flowchart and offer an option to the client," explained Guillen.

A 20-year partnership

Since 2002, ABB has supplied numerous solutions to the REGAP Refinery in Minas Gerais, including 14,476 direct I/O, 21,600 communication, 63,000 TAGs, foundation fieldbus, with 4,300 devices and 270 LD800HSE, substations with PMS/IEC 61850 technology, eight new substations, a new control room, six integrated 800xA systems, 67 workplaces and 65 servers.

The agreement includes the automation of the digital distributed control system, SDCD, and INFI90 hardware for the distributed control and monitoring system, SCMD, including hardware, software license expansion of 800xA, consistency analysis of detailed engineering documentation, project engineering, documentation, configuration, screens as well as integration with third-party systems and field services.

Renewed bonds of trust

Apart from the more practical benefits of carrying out FAT remotely, such as the reduction of travel costs and the involvement of more people who might not otherwise participate, there is also the inclusion of operational activities in the digital transformation.

With this, in addition to attesting to the credibility of the processes carried out at a distance and strengthening, once again, bonds of trust between supplier and customer, ABB can promote that the digital universe descends from the “cloud” to the factory floor, really.

"I have been providing solutions to Petrobras since 1997. So, it is a great satisfaction to see not only how the oil company has trusted ABB's work, but how we are evolving together, having the opportunity to innovate constantly, for over 20 years, and to reach new digital milestones together," Guillen added.

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