NCIG Coal Export Terminal Control System wins PACE Zenith’s Project of the Year

Andrew Hepburn (L) receives the award from Garry Mahoney of Honeywell Process Solutions, sponsor of the Transport, Power and Infrastructure category. Image courtesy of PACE

18 June 2012 - Aurecon, in joint venture with Hatch, won the overall 2012 Project of the Year award for the NCIG Coal Export Terminal Control System at the annual PACE (Process and Control Engineering) Zenith Awards in Melbourne on Thursday 14 June 2012.

The NCIG Coal Export Terminal Control System was also the overall winner in the Power, Transport and Infrastructure category for Australian automation projects.

The judges commented: “This complex project was impressive as it required a diverse range of control equipment and a fast track schedule. The team demonstrated a range of engineering skills to deliver the project on time and within budget.”

The Aurecon Hatch joint venture teams provided engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services to NCIG for all stages of the Coal Export Terminal project. This included entire control systems engineering services, and system design, function specification for PLC and SCADA configuration, factory testing, site commissioning, performance testing and operator training.

The NCIG Coal Export Terminal Control System project was to provide a modern robust automation solution for the coal terminal’s infrastructure, which would allow a minimum staff of 50 to operate and maintain the plant. This required a high level of automation, extensive diagnostics and condition monitoring, first up alarm system and integration of data between the controls and corporate systems. Implementation was in a fast track schedule.

Rob Yeates, CEO of NCIG, stated: “In executing the project, the team was able to exceed the expectations of the NCIG Board by bringing in the project ahead of time and under budget. The outcome was achieved in spite of many hurdles that had to be overcome, in many cases well outside the control of the project team.”

The challenges were many; a large, fast tracked project with multiple vendors, a greenfield site, the development of project control system standards, doing controls to a negative schedule due to the unavailability of plant and vendor information when design output was required to progress the works, considerable data interchange between the systems to accommodate multiple vendor delivery.

The control system, based on high end PLC’s, uses state of the art technology. The motor control centres are fitted with advanced multifunction protection relays and bus controlled. VSD’s and HV switchgear are also bus interfaced and controlled.

The new system allows NCIG to monitor the plant’s fundamental business service, track incoming rail deliveries and shipping outputs, and manage stockpiles, site-manage product and customer billing and monitor energy and services usage such as water, provide staff with tools to manage the plant to business key performance indicators.

The project delivered improved quality and reduced risk, reduced downtime, and a stable and robust SCADA platform. The adopted approach resulted in a safe design and implementation delivered early and under budget.

Aurecon Controls Systems Project Leader Andrew Hepburn said: “I am very honoured to have been part of the team to receive Australia’s leading award for automation projects. This is a great achievement for the Aurecon and Hatch staff who worked on the project.”

Bill Cox, General Manager ANZ for Aurecon, added: “Aurecon is proud to be publically recognised for leadership in engineering and technological excellence and innovation and congratulates our project partners.”

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