An Operator Training Simulator (OTS) for a SUPERFLEX(TM) Unit

The 21st Ethylene Producers Conference
2010 AIChE Spring Meeting
AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
March 22, 2010 - 8:00pm
An Operator Training Simulator (OTS) of a new SUPERFLEXTM unit has been designed and built to provide highly realistic process and operations training to operators of a first of a kind petrochemicals plant. The OTS, which was delivered to Sasol in 2005, and otherwise called the Sasol Superflex OTS, has been used on daily basis since then to train new or inexperienced plant operators, and allow experienced operators to refresh their skills. During the development phase, it was also used to test and validate operating procedures, and control and safety system designs.

As the process licensor, KBR was contracted to engineer and construct the Sasol Superflex OTS system for the new Synfuels Catalytic Cracker Plant in Secunda, RSA. The OTS is a close replica of both the synfuels catalytic cracker plant process and control systems. The novel SUPERFLEX™ technology provides a method for converting low value olefins streams, such as mixed butenes, pentenes, FCC light gasoline and coker gasoline to valuable propylene and ethylene products; as such it includes several proprietary catalytic process and novel processing schemes.

The Sasol Superflex OTS system uses high fidelity OTS software to simulate the process dynamics, operations and controls of the Synfuels Catalytic Cracker Plant. Overall the OTS includes several simulation computers hosting a large modular Superflex plant dynamic model and two independent Honeywell Experion Operator Consoles.

The Sasol Superflex OTS system was customized to reflect the actual process flow scheme, operating features and requirements of the Superflex plant.

This paper deals with the history and work process solutions that KBR and Sasol went through during the development of the project. Some lessons learned and suggestions for future projects are included. OTS usage and experience at Sasol site and general details about the development of the constituents' modules and integration of the system are also described.
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