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Apex Optimisation & Santos

Port Bonython Advanced Control Project

Port Bonython, SA

Apex Optimisation and Santos undertook a joint project to improve the profitability of selected sections of the Port Bonython (PB) liquids plant via use of Multivariable Predictive Control (MPC). The initial MPC proposal showed some conservative economics providing a compelling payback of smaller than three months.

MPC is a model-based control approach which incorporates a process model of dynamic process responses with an optimiser to maintain the plant at the most profitable vertex of the allowable operating envelope, offering profitability, operability and safety benefits. In this project, MPC was identified to offer improved profitability, including the maximisation of natural gas consumption; heat recovery maximisat-ion; maximising C2 rich propane from the refrigerant system; and maximising C4 in the Automix blend.

The project presented some significant challenges which constantly kept the team engaged throughout the execution.

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