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Engineering A Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) Offloading Terminal

Our Solution-Savvy Approach

A long-term oil and gas downstream market was in need of FEED and detailed design services for the development of an instrumentation and control system for a greenfield LPG by rail offloading project.

The project was to expand the refinery’s raw material intake by converting industrial greenfield land into a fully commissioned LPG rail terminal with four railcar loading/unloading stations which were also designed for future vapor recovery capability. M S Benbow worked on this greenfield project as part of a multi-disciplinary team the client put together to cover all engineering design aspects of the project, including civil structural, mechanical, piping, and process engineering.

While MSB’s initial task was the design of the instrumentation and control system, our expanded role entailed an assessment of all the vendor’s products and services involved to ensure performance, availability, and safety targets were met while controlling overall project cost.

As a vendor-neutral company, MSB’s scope expanded to help define and implement how some of the vendors’ products would work within the plant’s existing infrastructure. The integrated multi-discipline engineering team assessed the technologies, systems, vendors, process knowledge, and greenfield location to deliver the best possible solution along with anticipating future needs. One of the primary challenges was integrating the new system into the existing plant infrastructure to assist plant operators in the offloading process.

MSB’s team of engineers and designers assisted in developing the feasibility study, FEED analysis, and cost estimates to evaluate the practicality of the construction. MSB also delivered detailed design, equipment, and materials specification, FAT execution, installation/construction support, and start-up and commissioning services.

Greenfield Assessment

M S Benbow carefully assessed the unique benefits of a Greenfield project – the ability to explore state-of-the-art assets, systems, and processes; connectivity and IIoT or smart solutions – all with an emphasis on improving safety and availability. The benefits of a well-defined design cycle helped not only to improve performance but also minimized operator error by automating some processes that typically required operator intervention.

Because the client had never completed a project of a similar nature, M S Benbow helped to evaluate from an operation and maintenance standpoint what the ideal approach would be for the project in its entirety. Within the entire design cycle, M S Benbow approached the project by assessing the ongoing and iterative improvements they could make in the design process to ensure the most successful solution.

Ensuring Safety and Reliability

Offloading, storing, and transporting LPG safely is critical at all stages of production, distribution, and consumption. MSB has helped our client for the past 15 years to upgrade the plant’s storage tank instrumentation and controls infrastructure, providing overfill protection and enabling plant operators to assess tank capacity. Utilizing the existing network infrastructure and control parameters in place at the facility, MSB was able to plan effectively for the new demands of offloading vast amounts of product and integrate the newly created designed system seamlessly.

Delivery and Future Plans

To meet the ambitious construction timeline, MSB provided staged design package deliverables while construction was underway. MSB also tapped its team of seasoned engineers midway through the project to re-engineer the LPG railcar skid vendor’s automation controls from a multi-PLC simplex design to a single TMR Fault Tolerant alternative.

Completed in 11 months, the project was successfully delivered on time and within budget.
Whether a new control system installation, expansion, or a need to explore the technical obsolescence of your existing control system, our experts offer a vision of how your experts offer a vision of how your instrumentation and control systems that could evolve and improve in the years ahead.

Services Provided

  • Control Software
  • Control System Development
  • Detailed Design Package
  • Factory Acceptance Test (FAT)
  • Feasiblity Studies
  • Front End Engineering Design
  • Human-Machine Interface (HMI) Graphics
  • Instrumentation & Controls
  • Piping & Instrumentation Diagram (P&ID) Development
  • Procedure Development
  • Project Management
  • Startup & Commissioning
  • Total Installed Cost Estimate


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