ADIPEC Energy Dialogue: Up to 80 per cent of plant shutdowns to be mitigated through digitalisation

adipec oil and gas refineryLeveraging the synergies created by the convergence of electrification, automation and digitalisation can create significant cost savings for oil and gas companies when making operational and capital investment decisions, according to Dr Peter Terwiesch, president of Industrial Automation at ABB

Participating in the latest ADIPEC Energy Dialogue, Dr Terwiesch said that up to 80 per cent of energy industry plant shutdowns, caused by human error, or rotating machinery or power outages, could be mitigated through a combination of electrification, automation and digitalisation.

“Savings are clearly possible not only on the operation side but also, using the same synergies between dimensions, you can bring down the cost schedule and risk of capital investment, especially in a time when making projects work economically is harder,” explained Dr Terwiesch.

Dr Terwiesch further added that despite the increasing investment by oil and gas companies in renewables and the growing use of renewables to generate electricity, both for individual and industrial uses, hydrocarbons will continue to have an important role in creating energy, in the short to medium term. 

“If you look at the energy density constraints, clearly electricity is gaining share but electricity is not the source of energy; it is a conduit of energy. The energy has to come from somewhere and that can be hydrocarbons, or nuclear, or renewable,” he said.

Nevertheless, he added, the greater use of renewables to generate electricity offers oil and gas companies the option of integrating a higher share of renewables into power management processes to create efficiencies.

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