Top Egyptian fertilizer firm inks DCS upgrade deal with ABB

Top Egyptian fertilizer firm inks DCS upgrade deal with ABB

A stellar relationship with the customer as well as ABB’s world No. 1 and cost-effective DCS facilitated the order win.

Misr Fertilizers Production Company (MOPCO), which produces 2 million metric tons of urea annually, wanted to upgrade its existing ABB DCS (distributed control system) to the latest version to optimize its operational efficiency, maximize uptime and minimize downtime. The fertilizer company supplies urea to the Egyptian and Middle Eastern markets from its chemical plant in Damietta, Egypt.

The deal, signed in Q1 2022, includes a DCS upgrade from the current 800xA V4.1 to the latest version. As part of the DCS upgrade, the customer signed up for a three-year Care service agreement that also includes a subscription to ABB's new Cyber Security Workplace (CSWP) software capability. The recently launched CSWP provides a complete picture of the DCS's Cyber Security operations and enables cyber risks to be quickly identified and remediated through a single interface. In addition to CSWP the Care agreement includes automation software maintenance and a wide range of other value added services.

Cost-effective evolution of automation

The Energy Industries (PAEN) team in Egypt will partially upgrade the DCS by enhancing the existing automation solution. Retaining the control systems’ hardware without a rip-and-replace approach meets MOPCO’s budget, which encouraged the customer to submit the order directly without any tenders or competitors.

“Upgrading the existing DCS with the latest technologies will keep the system up-to-date and decrease the possibility of unplanned plant shutdowns, leading to increased plant productivity,” noted Waleed Hefnawy, who manages the MOPCO account for ABB.

The continued use of existing intellectual assets – including reuse of control logic, HMI graphics and engineering tools – without retraining will enable seamless integration of new automation technologies. This method is 80 percent cheaper than complete replacement. Additionally, ABB is providing life cycle support for the DCS through Automation Sentinel.

International safety compliance

“This is a vital project win for ABB. Through this pilot project, we will be able to infiltrate the fertilizers sector with ABB cyber security solutions, which are specially designed for such environments. This upgrade project will help to consolidate our footprint in the fertilizers sector in Egypt,” said Ahmed Sherbini, Vice President, ENCA Cluster Division Manager for Energy Industries, ABB.

ABB’s INOPC for Cyber Security team performed ABB ICS Cyber Security Reference Architecture Gap Analysis Assessment and recommended introducing level 3 – system management for MOPCO. Installing the ABB Ability™ Cyber Security Workplace 2.0 software at the Egyptian fertilizer plant will ensure IEC 62443 compliance.

The Cyber Security Workplace solution includes the following foundational controls:

  • Cyber Security Updates
  • Cyber Security Malware Protection
  • Cyber Security Backup and Recovery
  • Cyber Security Application Allow listing


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