A large Spanish refinery with a large tank farm storing approximately 2.500.000 m3 of petroleum products in various qualities. Soon after installation, a first line-up error was discovered. This saved €300.000 – €500.000.
Low automation levels
The refinery and tank farm were built in the ‘70’s. The equipment was old and automation level was very low. Most valves were manually operated and manual operation was often prescribed by company policy.
Human error resulted in incidents
All valve line-ups operations were performed manually. Human errors in valve line-ups had resulted in incidents in the past, when wrong product was offloaded.
The company searched for a way to improve operations and avoid human errors. An investment to automate about 1.400 valves in its tank farm was not an option. So they were searching for other ways to increase the control over their manual operations.
Ensured correct status of all valves before loading operations
The company decided that valve position indication would offer the right solution. After a pilot of 2 years, in which various alternatives were evaluated, they chose the VPI position indicator as the most reliable solution. They installed around 1.400 VPI’s in total to get a complete overview of all valve positions in the field. Based on all these inputs their control system could ensure correct status of all valves before commencing loading operations.