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Apex Optimisation

Train3 Clear Flow MPC

Collie, WA

The operations group at the BHP Billiton Worsley Alumina Pty Ltd (WAPL) Collie refinery identified a potential problem with tanks overflowing, at higher throughput rates. Preventing and controlling these incidents proved to be quite a challenge for the Control Room Operator (CRO), as the tanks prone to overflowing have no level measurements. It was near impossible to predict, from the panel, when a tank was overflowing (or close to overflowing).

Apex Optimisation (Apex) was involved in a project to minimise the overflow incidents. The team streamlined the process by deferring some of the typical project steps, but without any increase in risk. The final outcome was a Multivariable Predictive Control (MPC) application that was implemented and commissioned within two weeks, and virtually eliminated any incidents of tanks overflowing. It also reduced production losses associated by overflowing tanks by more than 50 per cent, as well as the savings in clean up efforts.

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