KUALA TERENGGANU, Feb 10 – PETRONAS is set to make significant progress in autonomous operations by establishing test bed and industrial field trial based on the emerging Open Process Automation Standard (O-PAS) technologies, and in the process, has selected to collaborate with Yokogawa, a leading global provider of industrial automation solutions.   This marks another significant step in PETRONAS’ pursuit of autonomous operations aimed at optimising resources and minimising workers’ exposure to hazard risks. The test bed and field trial will take place at the Institut Teknologi Petroleum PETRONAS (INSTEP) training plant in Batu Rakit, Terengganu, Malaysia.
 
The announcement was made during the virtual 25th Annual ARC Industry Forum, participated by leaders and experts across the globe to look into the topic of ‘Accelerating Digital Transformation in a Post-COVID World’. The collaboration is a milestone recorded under a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the companies last year, in the areas of operational excellence, business arrangement, as well as education, talent and capability building.
 
PETRONAS Project Delivery and Technology Senior Vice President Samsudin Miskon said the collaboration is in line with an on-going technology-digitalisation transformation undertaken to meet the Group’s business targets and customers’ increasing energy needs. “With the current challenges facing the energy ecosystem, and as the energy transition accelerates, PETRONAS constantly pushes the techno-digital frontiers to make step change improvements in our operational efficiencies and reduce carbon footprint for a sustainable future,” he said.
 
The O-PAS field trial will test systems’ multi-vendor interoperability, cybersecurity, and advanced functionality in real-world applications. This includes evaluation of the use of 5G technologies and its robustness in Open Process Automation (OPA), integration of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) into OPA as part of the data liberalisation initiatives, maintenance and integration of multiple remote autonomous operation sites, as well as Distributed Control System (DCS) as fiscal flow-computing platform. The collaboration further strengthens PETRONAS’ digital readiness for Industry 4.0 operational models, supported by Yokogawa’s global expertise and network.

Engagements with third-party suppliers, other operators and Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS will be explored under this collaboration to benefit PETRONAS and the automation industry in the Asia Pacific region. “Emerging automation technologies based on O-PAS promise an open-sharing platform, thus adding agility for data liberalisation and enabling new operational models at a lower cost. Shared data and knowledge accelerate technology development to benefit all,” added PETRONAS Group Technical Authority (Instrument and Control) Sharul A. Rashid.
 
PETRONAS and Yokogawa are both members of the Open Group Open Process Automation™ Forum (OPAF), an international forum of end-users, system integrators, suppliers, academia, and standards organisations who are working together to develop the specifications for utilising open process automation technology in next generation process control systems – DCS of the future.  Once fully defined, O-PAS will allow for construction of safe, reliable, secure and scalable process automation systems with high adaptability for new and existing operations.

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