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HIMA safeguards BASF facility

Published by , Senior Editor
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

HIMA has delivered a comprehensive safety solution consisting of hardware, software and engineering for BASF's new world-scale acetylene facility.

BASF has now commissioned this facility at its Ludwigshafen site in Germany, which features a capacity to produce 90 000 tpy of acetylene.

In the acetylene facility, HIMA's safety controllers perform the emergency shutdown function, as well as handle the functions involved in starting up the system and controlling the pre-heater and the coke discharge. After a planning phase that covered around one year, in 2018 HIMA delivered 61 BASF control room racks based on a total of six HIMax systems. The HIMax controllers were wired and tested in-house (factory acceptance testing) and HIMA delivered the pre-assembled complete modules, including separation layer in accordance with the ‘just-in-time’ requirements of the construction site. Since October 2018, two HIMA engineers have also been permanently based in Ludwigshafen to ensurethat the safety solution is seamlessly integrated into the existing automation architecture.

Despite the complexity of the system, HIMA was able to design a lean and highly reliable hardware solution. The SafeEthernet protocol ensures safe cross communication between controllers in SIL 3 quality. The controllers' fast response times in the event of an emergency shutdown and high operational safety (SIL 3) within critical production processes ensure the acetylene facility's high availability and productivity. HIMA safety experts from Brühl proactively assisted in designing the hardware and programming the application-specific software, in particular for implementation of the complex burner control circuits.

“We have been working in partnership with BASF at the Ludwigshafen site for many years. We are glad to be on board for this important project and are proud that our safety solution ensures the availability and productivity of the process critical acetylene facility. By providing ‘just-in-time’ delivery of the pre-assembled control room racks and a non-stop on-site service, we were able to ensure compliance with the tight schedule at the construction site and to minimise the workload for BASF", said Andreas Jauß, the responsible Project Manager at HIMA.

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