Petrochemical Efficiency

Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) is one of the world’s largest petrochemical companies. Its affiliate, the Saudi European Petrochemical Company (known as Ibn Zahr), was opening a third polypropylene factory that required integration with two prior factories. The new development is a landmark for the region’s biggest petro-chemical maker with added capacity. See photo.




  • 1.5 months ahead of schedule

  • Improved information flow improves operator decisions

  • Decreased engineering, maintenance with 3-plant integration

Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) is one of the world’s largest petrochemical companies. Its affiliate, the Saudi European Petrochemical Company (known as Ibn Zahr), was opening a third polypropylene factory that required integration with two prior factories. The new development is a landmark for the region’s biggest petro-chemical maker, adding capacity of 500,000 tpa, bringing total production for Ibn Zahr to around 1.14 million tpa of polypropylene.

The main challenge was the demanding timeline for the site to go live. Honeywell and integration partner Samsung Engineering worked together to keep the schedule consistent and deliver the project on time and on budget.

Honeywell Process Systems had provided technology for previous facilities. The third, in the industrial city of Al-Jubail in the Arabian Gulf, is installing Honeywell’s Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS) to drive efficient operations and link the facility to two existing plants.

Information flow, safety

“Honeywell understood our business, objectives, and varied needs, said WJ Lee, instrument and control engineer, Samsung Engineering. “Honeywell technology improves our operations by making us more efficient, and enables us to better serve our customers.”

Honeywell’s Experion system improved the flow of information at the facility and has enabled operators to make better decisions with real-time access to information. Streamlined and easily accessible data makes it easier to manage, especially when it is from different areas of the facility.



Honeywell's Experiod system drives efficiency and improves information flow between Ibn Zahr's three polypropylene facilities.

TH Jung, project manager, Samsung Engineering, said, “in less than a week, the new venture’s production reached the designed capacity, meeting the utmost production levels with the highest safety standards. The result to date has been 7.5-million-hours without a single work injury. Consistent management of the system and the supportive attitude by Honeywell towards other partners involved in the facility really drove the success of this demanding project.”

Integration, less engineering

Since implementing Honeywell’s Experion PKS, Ibn Zahr has seen the following benefits:

  • Project delivered 1.5 months ahead of schedule, bringing the facility live and boosting the company’s productivity sooner;

  • Greatly improved the flow of information at Ibn Zahr, enabling operators to make better decisions;

  • Provided real-time access to information among the three Ibn Zahr facilities;

  • Dramatically reduced engineering and maintenance costs by tying plants together on the common Experion platform;

  • Streamlined ability to handle various data;

  • Improved plant throughput during periods of high polymer demand and amid plant constraints;

  • Reduction in grade transition times and process upsets; and

  • Increased operational stability.

With a wider operations view, the software enables smarter decisions that improve production. The company now proactively manages assets in real time to minimize downtime and improve asset performance, and improves uptime and safety by capturing and translating data into consistent and actionable knowledge.

From the 2009 edition of the Automation Integrator Guide, a supplement to Control Engineering magazine. This annual print guide to nearly 1,800 automation system integrators is searchable online at .

See other articles in the 2010 Automation Integrator Guide .

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