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Case Studies

Monitoring Gas Pipelines

Netcontrol delivers it's Radius PDR 221 digital data radio system to Invensys Prcess System for monitoring methane/ethane gas pipelines, owned and operated by the Royal Commission of Jubail & Yanbu Industrial cities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Royal Commission of Jubail and Yanbu was established in Saudi Arabia for constructing and developing two industrial cities namely, Jubail & Yanbu, which are strategically situated each along at Gulf Coast and the Red Sea. Royal Commission is responsible for planning, constructing & operating the necessary infrastructure facilities in these two cities. An ancient center of the Eastern Province and a caravan junction, the city of Jubail was famed for pearling. Located near the oil producing area, it was found suitable as the site of the world’s largest petrochemical complex.


Project Synopsis

In order to meet the growing demand for industrial gases in Jubail, The Royal Commission awarded a contract amounting US$ 70million to an EPC contractor to lay down five fuel and feedstock pipelines to serve the development of the first phase of the Jubail-II industrial city. The project covers procurement and construction of three 36-inch methane pipelines and two 36-inch ethane pipelines and associated control/instrumentation/communications system.

The gas for the pipelines is supplied by Saudi Aramco, which will be sold to the new petrochemical ventures to be built at Jubail-II.

Monitoring/Control System

Invensys Process System was awarded the contract to supply and install an advanced monitoring and control system/Emergency shutdown system (ESD) to monitor & shutdown the gas operated valves and report leak detection from various locations dotted with huge industrial plants, metallic structures, long pipes, high chimneys and steel constructions. along the pipeline that stretches approximately 100 sq KM.

The radio links proposed were to establish communication points between the Remote Terminal Units (RTU) installed along the pipeline and the Distributed Control System (DCS) “Host” computer located in the control centre in Jubail. The radios primary purpose is to exchange data between the outposts and control centre in order to monitor and shutdown the gas operated valves, in hazardous situations.

Along the pipeline at strategically locations leak detection systems (LDS) were installed to monitor specified amounts of leaking  methane and ethane gas in the  pipelines and reports any activity back to the DCS Host, over the air.

Fully Redundant Radio Solution

Since the radios need to operate RTU/ESD & LDS all critical parts of the project, the customer was looking for an end-to-end, fully redundant system. Which would provide failsafe operations, and be available 24/7. The requirement of redundancy was not limited to the RTU/IO Modules, but also with the radio modems on each site. Here Netcontrol came into the picture, which has the unique capability of supplying dual redundant radio links for mission critical applications.

Each Invensys Installed RTU is integrated with 2 Radius PDR 221 radios and a Radius HSC 100 controller to have dual hot-stand by redundancy. The Radius HSC 100 is designed to provide a level of security against loss of telemetry in the SCADA networks. Each unit can control two independent data radio transceivers, identified as Main and Standby.

The radio selection is made by a controller module, which has both automatic and manual switch-over features. The standby radio is continuously powered and instantly ready for operation. The Radius HSC 100 controller module continuously monitors the data traffic (received and transmitted messages) between the SCADA/RTU and the active radio unit, which makes PDR switchover instant.

Why Netcontrol

In view of the “mission critical” nature of the of the application, Radius PDR 221 radio system was the obvious choice, where Netcontrol designed unique Radius HSC 100 controller which makes each site as duplicated with hot stand-by redundancy to make sure the radio system installed is fail safe and 100% available in a highly cost effective way.  Radius PDR 221 radios were also chosen due to their unique multi-repeating functionality and their ability to maintain the link integrity even in the harsh/hot/humid environmental conditions of Saudi Arabia, due to employing forward error correction technique in the radio design.