The La Vertiente gas plant in the tropical zone of Villamontes in Bolivia supplies natural gas and stabilised condensate to the country's national hydrocarbon company YPFB. Bolivia has South America's second largest natural gas reserves. Owned by BG Bolivia, the La Vertiente plant processes gas from the Escondido, Los Suris, Palo Marcado and La Vertiente gas fields.
A recent automation upgrade project at the plant has demanded the installation of motorised valve equipment with safety integrity level 2 (SIL2) certification, for which Rotork Fluid Systems has supplied a total of 31 spring-return fail-safe quarter-turn scotch yoke pneumatic actuator packages with mechanical partial stroke test facilities.
The Rotork actuators are installed on emergency shut down (ESD) valves in the most critical processing areas of the La Vertiente gas plant. Applications encompass hydrocarbon condensates and water leaving the raw gas separators, glycol and hot oil in the regenerator, natural gas throughout many of the processes including the gas inlet manifold and the power gas for the compressors.
Gabriel De Visnyey, Rotork Fluid Systems regional sales manager for Latin America, explains: "All the ESD valve locations demand complete confidence in their ability to perform, which the Rotork actuators have achieved, fulfilling customer expectations and meeting the functional security requirements necessary to meet the safety integrity level (SIL) criteria for BG Bolivia installations."
Safety integrity level (SIL) targets are applied to the reliability and performance of safety instrumented systems (SIS) used to protect hazardous activities such as hydrocarbon refining and production. Rotork Fluid Systems is capable of providing complete SIL solutions, certified in accordance with IEC EN 61508, for final elements used in safety instrumented systems.
For the La Vertiente automation upgrade Rotork has supplied 28 CP range and three GP range SIL2 actuated ball valve packages. The packages have been supplied by Prosertec, Rotork Fluid Systems' representative in Bolivia, who have also provided on-site support with installation, commissioning and start-up.