Enhanced uptime and better reliability with efficient design at Thai chemical facility

ABB has installed a complex one-to-three hot standby variable speed drive anticipated to boost reliability and reduce downtime, as well as lower environmental risk, for IRPC Public Company Limited (IRPC), a subsidiary of PTT Group in Thailand.

Locally, IRPC operates a fully integrated petrochemical complex with utilities services – ports, depots and power plants – and aims to support sustainable growth. The installation is one of the first by ABB nationally featuring a complex one-to-three-drives hot standby design[1] for better stability with minimized risk of gas flare, which is a potential environmental hazard.

How does it work?

The new ACS5000 medium voltage drive acts as a hot standby to the compressor unit, supported by three sets of medium voltage drives and motors. If any existing drives fail, the hot standby drive, coordinated by programmable logic controller (PLC), will take over the compressor unit. This compressor unit is a critical process component for IRPC’s Ethylene Recovery Unit in its Hygiene and Value-added Products Plant.

Project delivery: ahead of schedule

ABB delivered the complex retrofit ahead of schedule, continuing a positive ongoing customer relationship. ABB has previously supported IRPC with one-to-one hot standby drives for compressor applications in its Deep Catalytic Cracking Plant, and provided power management, process and safety control for its petrochemical plant.

“The different power and speed of the motors connected to the existing drives added a layer of complexity to the project,” said Pathompong Chanphiw, Project Manager at IRPC.

“We selected ABB as their design is most aligned with our initiative.  ABB confidently applied an innovative design for this drive, one of the first of its kind in Thailand, with their expertise and assurance of completion within our limited shutdown timeline. ABB exceeded our expectations, completing the turnaround four days ahead of planned schedule.”

[1] A hot standby provides reliability in system configurations as a mechanism activated to ensure continuity in operations if a key component fails.


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