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The GPS Chemoil oil storage terminals in Fujairah provide storage facilities for the whole range of petroleum products

Tank farms and terminals

A one-stop shop

When GPS Chemoil embarked on Phase IV improvements to its oil storage terminals in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, it needed a proven automation system for control and safety.

GPS Chemoil, a joint venture between Gulf Petrol Supplies and Chemoil Energy Limited, currently owns and operates two oil storage terminals at the bunker hub in Fujairah. The facility, which began operations in April 2013, is leased out to provide storage for a range of petroleum products. It is connected by pipeline to all the oil terminals in Fujairah and all nine berths, including recent connections to Berths 8 and 9, becoming the first terminal to operate with Berth 8 at the Port of Fujairah’s oil tanker terminal. Terminal 1 of the storage facility is located due west of the Port of Fujairah jetties, while Terminal 2 is situated within the Port of Fujairah premises. Terminal 1 consists of nine fixed-roof tanks with cone-down bottoms and has a total capacity of 94,914 m3. It handles Gasoil and Fuel Oil transfers and discharges, using up to six eletric-driven screw pumps, as well as Gasoil truck loading via two electric-driven centrifugal pumps.

The facility’s instrumentation is made up of a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system, tank transfer gauging, and truck loading arms with mass flowmeters. Four jetty pipelines – two for Gasoil and two for Fuel Oil – are utilized for loading, discharging, and terminal-to-terminal operations. Terminal 2 consists of 21 tanks – 16 for Class II products, and five with internal floating roofs for Class I clean petroleum products. It has a total capacity of 603,811 m3. The terminal uses 17 electric-driven pumps – 11 twin-screw positive replacement pumps and six centrifugal pumps. Both terminals offer a full range of transfers – ship-to-terminal (via two oil tanker terminals), terminal-to-ship, terminal-to-terminal, and intertank transfers – as well as blending, heating, and truck loading. Quality, health, safety, and environment (QHSE) management systems are implemented throughout the facility to ensure that the terminals offer customers the benefits of the industry’s best practices and latest developments in technology. A systematic training and empowerment program ensures that all staff are able to participate in ongoing improvements to the QHSE system.

Process and safety automation

Siemens’ involvement in the Fujairah facility was part of the Phase IV design improvements. It can be traced back to Siemens’ work with Chemoil Energy, which had used the German company’s automation system for process and safety at its former Helios terminal in Singapore. GPS Chemoil directly proposed and accepted Siemens’ involvement. Siemens was preapproved in the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract as the vendor for automation systems. The Phase IV project was executed by Topaz Engineering as the EPC, which subcontracted L&T Automation, Dubai, for the Simatic PCS 7 work, with engineering carried out by the Abu Dhabi–based company Tebodin. The company met the process control and safety solution requirements with its Simatic PCS 7 automation system, together with other components, including Siemens medium-voltage Sinamics Perfect Harmony GH180 drives (450 kW to 850 kW), low-voltage panels, and Loher Atex medium-voltage and low-voltage motors. An additional four medium-voltage variable-frequency drive units were retrofitted on the centrifugal pump motors for process enhancement and maximum plant operational availability. This was achieved by a successful collaboration with the Siemens retrofit team for engineering, procurement, and in-house installation and commissioning.

From the central control room, the operators can access all systems and functions through Simatic PCS 7

A seamless solution

The decisive argument in favor of Simatic PCS 7 was the system’s ability to integrate process control and safety applications, both in engineering and at runtime. Simatic PCS 7 provides the performance required to meet the application’s highspeed requirements and serves as an open, flexible control framework that can connect to field devices via many different bus systems and is based on a scalable hardware and software platform. All the automation functions are provided through a seamless, uniform solution without the need for special gateways or interfaces. The system also seamlessly integrates continuous and safety control, including uniform software tools, and it integrates with other subsystems, such as inventory management and fire and gas detection units. The system consists of eight HMI workstations with distributed functionality: two are for operations, one for engineering, one for enterprise resource planning (ERP), one for the tank management system, and one for the fire alarm system, with the remaining two as redundant HMI workstations. The subsystem includes built-in diagnostics to warn of impending failures, and it operates independently, irrespective of the operating status of the interconnected system. The equipment has guaranteed support for 15 years – from the takeover date or from withdrawal of the equipment from the market, whichever is later.

The information and support from Siemens Dubai has been prompt and perfect.
Abdul Rahman, Head of E&I Department, GPS Chemoil


Abdul Rahman, head of GPS Chemoil’s electrical and instrumentation department, actively coordinated the successful completion of the project in April 2013, and the system is backed by service support from the Siemens Dubai office. Since installation of the system, GPS Chemoil has received valuable support and services from Siemens, which the company views as one of the key factors in the system’s successful performance and achievement. Ever since the engineering, commissioning, and retrofit jobs, the information and support from Siemens Dubai have been prompt and perfect.

Picture credits: GPS Chemoil