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Industry Automation, Instrumentation, Control Systems - Business News - Europe

Rotork strengthens presence in global marine & offshore markets with acquisition of Masso Ind

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Rotork has increased its range of flow control products and services for the worldwide marine and offshore industries with the acquisition of Masso Ind s.p.a., an established and respected manufacturer of innovative shipboard valve remote control systems (VRCS).

Designed for critical safety applications, Masso VRCS solutions encompass hydraulic and electro-hydraulic systems that are compatible with most integrated automation systems (IAS). The Masso product range also includes hydraulic quarter-turn and linear actuators, hydraulic power packs, solenoid cabinets and electro-hydraulic actuators for shipboard applications.

Based in Valduggia in northern Italy, Masso has over 80 years of marine industry experience encompassing chemical and cargo vessels, cruise ships, ferries, offshore support and navy vessels. The company’s products are supplied to world-leading shipbuilding groups such as Fincantieri and the Meyer Werft Group.

Masso will join the Rotork Fluid Systems division, where its products dovetail into existing ranges of fluid power flow control equipment serving the oil & gas, power generation, marine and manufacturing industries.

Commenting on the acquisition, Rotork Group Chief Executive Peter France said:

“The acquisition of Masso is in line with our strategy of strengthening our presence in the global flow control market and broadening the scope of the Group’s activities within the marine and offshore markets.”

ABB wins $155 million order to power large North Sea oilfield

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ABBABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won an order worth $155 million from Norway’s Statoil to supply systems and equipment to two HVDC converter stations linking the recently discovered Johan Sverdrup offshore field with the onshore grid. The contract has been booked in the first quarter of 2015.

Oil production at Johan Sverdrup, located west of Stavanger on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS), is expected to start in late 2019. Full production is estimated at 550,000-650,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, which would constitute 40% of total oil production on the NCS. The four platforms that make up the first phase of the development will be entirely powered from shore by the HVDC link supplied by ABB. The first phase of power-from-shore investments will prepare for the future development of the Johan Sverdrup field, as well as other fields located at Utsira High until 2022.

“We are very pleased to be continuing our successful relationship with Statoil by delivering a third HVDC power-from-shore link,” said the president of ABB’s Process Automation division, Peter Terwiesch. “Using onshore electricity to run these oil platforms will eliminate the need for local gas-turbine power generation, significantly lowering CO2 emissions as well as operating and maintenance costs. This order underlines ABB’s broad offering across the entire oil and gas value chain and reflects our focus on accelerating organic growth by increasing our customer focus.”

ABB will design, engineer, supply and commission the equipment for two ±80 kilovolt 100 MW high-voltage converter stations. One will be located onshore at Haugsneset, where it will turn alternating current (AC) from the grid into high-voltage direct current (DC), which can be transmitted efficiently over 200 km to the second station which is on one of the oil platforms. There, the DC current will be converted back into AC and distributed to the rest of the field.

ABB’s solution will utilize Voltage-Sourced Converter (VSC) technology, called “HVDC Light,” to provide flexible, long-distance transmission of electricity. This technology has enabled ABB to win all four HVDC power-from-shore systems that have so far been ordered in the North Sea: Statoil’s Troll A, compressor 1 and 2, delivered in 2005; BP’s Valhall field, delivered in 2011; Troll A 3 and 4, currently under delivery; and now Johan Sverdrup.

ABB pioneered HVDC transmission 60 years ago and has been awarded about 100 such projects. This adds up to a total installed capacity of more than 120 GW, or about half the global installed base of HVDC. In the 1990s, ABB further developed the technology by using voltage-sourced converters, a breakthrough which later became HVDC Light.

Jacobs wins Contract from BP in Belgium

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Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. has announced  that it received a contract from BP Chembel N.V. for basic and detailed engineering services to upgrade its facilities in Geel, Belgium. Under the terms of the contract, Jacobs is installing new equipment and performing upgrades in the facility’s PTA units. BP’s Geel site is a major producer of purified terephthalic acid and paraxylene, typically used in the manufacture of polyesters. The goal of this project is to optimize operational performance of the BP Geel facilities.

In making the announcement, Jacobs Group Vice President Mark Bello stated, “We have provided services to BP at its facility in Geel for a number of years and are delighted to further develop the relationship through this contract. We look forward to utilizing our extensive capabilities and expertise to support BP with its business objectives.”

Tyco to acquire Industrial Safety Technologies to expand Gas and Flame Detection Capabilities

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Tyco International plc has announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Industrial Safety Technologies (IST), a global leader in gas and flame detection, from Battery Ventures, for $329.5 million in cash.

The combination of IST with Tyco's Scott Safety unit will make Tyco one of the largest global designers and manufacturers of gas and flame detection products. IST holds a technology leadership position in the gas and flame detection industry and is committed to innovating in industrial safety solutions, such as its groundbreaking wireless gas-detection technology. IST brings strong market presence in Europe, the Middle East, and the U.S. Gulf Coast region to complement Scott Safety's detection business.

"We are committed to providing our customers with a full range of safety solutions," said Andrew Chrostowski, President, Scott Safety. "The addition of IST reinforces this commitment and establishes Scott Safety as a world leader in gas detection. Each of IST's businesses provides a unique set of detection capabilities that will enable us to accelerate new product development, expand our geographic presence, deepen our technical expertise and broaden our product offerings and service capabilities."

On an annualized basis, the addition of IST to Tyco's operations is expected to generate approximately $140 million in revenue.  This transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in Tyco's fiscal second quarter.

ABB stated global market leader in DCS for 2013

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ABBABB has been stated to remain the leading choice of customers for control system services, hardware and software in the oil and gas, pulp and paper and mining & metals industries. ARC Advisory Group has released their Distributed Control Systems Worldwide Outlook report for 2013 in which ABB has retained its leading position in the worldwide DCS (distributed control system) market. According to the study, the global DCS market grew about 4 percent in 2013.

According to the study, ABB was the regional market share leader for Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and the worldwide leader in key global verticals including oil and gas, pulp and paper, mining and metals.

The report also notes that the DCS business has continued to be primarily a service business over the past few years, with combined project, engineering and operational services accounting for more than half of total revenues. The Main Automation Contractor (MAC) approach in which the automation vendor manages the overall project and includes a strong project execution and services component, continues to grow stronger and expand.

“For years ABB has cultivated its capability to serve major projects as the Main Automation Contractor.”, said ARC Senior Analyst Harry Forbes. “The electric power, motor, and drive capabilities across ABB Group augment its process automation expertise, making the firm an attractive choice when capital projects require large or complex electric power systems, especially offshore and sub-sea systems.”

"ABB is well prepared with a broad DCS portfolio including its flagship system 800xA Extended Automation platform, Symphony Plus control system, Freelance process control system for small to medium process applications, as well as its prior generation systems. All ABB control systems offer a secure evolution path forward to next generation technologies to protect and enhance the control system investment over its lifetime” said Tobias Becker, Head of ABB’s Control Technologies business.

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