PLCs, DCSs & Controllers

Saudi success for Experion

February 2009 PLCs, DCSs & Controllers

Al-Khafji Joint Operations (KJO) has bene­fited from a successful relationship with Honeywell for over 20 years.

KJO was formed as a result of the petroleum production operations agreement between Aramco Gulf Operations and the Kuwait Gulf Oil Company. The company owns and operates the crude oil production, processing and loading facilities at Al-Khafji in Saudi Arabia, processing around 300 000 barrels of crude oil per day. It is also involved in other businesses like offshore loading, power generation, water treatment and water desalination.

In 1998 when KJO looked for a solution to automatically monitor and control gas separation and optimise its processes, it selected Honeywell’s TotalPlant Solution (TPS) process control system. For 10 years, TPS has helped improve performance at the plant.

New challenges

As KJO faces new process automation challenges which require a more versatile and easy to use system, it wanted to collect more knowledge from the plant and to improve safety, reliability and efficiency at its facilities. KJO also wanted the new system to leverage the capabilities of existing infrastructure so as to protect its initial investment and preserve historical data.

Advanced solutions

Honeywell’s Experion PKS met KJO’s needs for a process control system upgrade. The relationship between the two companies was an important factor in selecting Honeywell.

“Honeywell was our obvious choice, not only because we believe in the technical superiority and reliability of Honeywell products, but also because we have had a great working relationship with the Honeywell team over the past two decades,” said Mustafa Yusuf, senior project engineer at KJO. “The engineers have a good understanding of the culture, expectations and philosophy of KJO and their commitment has been well demonstrated over the long period that we have worked together.”

The Honeywell support team based in the Middle East has been a key reason for the continued success and strong relationship between the two organisations, starting with the implementation of TPS for monitoring and control of KJO’s gas separation and desalting plant in 1998. KJO upgraded to Experion in 2005, when it decided to build a new control room, upgrade the two existing desalination units, add a third, and provide capability for expansion to a fourth.

KJO is set to take advantage of the capabilities of Experion R300 (with C300 and Safety Manager) for the new crude storage tank and buffer tanks at the Ratawi system, which is part of the HOUT onshore production facility. Experion and Safety Manager provide an integrated safety and control solution with a solid process control foundation to support future storage requirements, reclaim the oil from production slops and ensure production capacity for the next 30 years at this expanded facility.

With Experion, operators and engineers have greater access to plant information to make better and faster operating decisions. Experion also offers the advantage of integrating with the older TPS system to ensure a seamless transition to the newest technology; with all TPS data, events and operator messages easily imported.

Based on the Experion success, KJO has selected Honeywell to provide automation solutions for its new FDP-1 project. This entails integrating TPS and Experion systems from the existing desalination, water treatment and Ratawi control rooms into a new central control room (CCR) utilising the unified Honeywell FTE and plant information network. The FDP-1 scope also includes the process control system for the new onshore and offshore oil and gas facilities which will form part of the CCR.

KJO says it will benefit from Experion R300’s features to enhance safety, reliability and performance and with more projects on the horizon has reiterated its commitment to continuing its successful working relationship with Honeywell.

“Honeywell has more than met our expectations in the past and we did not feel the need to look to other vendors,” said Yusuf. “The local Honeywell engineers have always been a highly valued extension of our own automation team. We look forward to the ongoing working relationship and our joint successes in the future.”

For more information contact Debbie Rae, Honeywell Southern Africa, +27 (0)11 695 8000,,


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