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Emerson upgrades control systems at Iberdrola’s EnergyWorks Cartegena CHP power plant without interrupting supply of steam to neighboring factory
Emerson completes system migration project in Spain within challenging 10 day day scheduled outage
PITTSBURGH (July 22, 2013) -- Emerson Process Management has upgraded the control systems at the EnergyWorks Cartagena combined heat and power (CHP) power plant in Spain, with the latest version of its Ovation expert control system. In order to maximize plant availability and prevent interruption to the supply of steam to the neighboring polycarbonate production site, the migration project was carefully managed to ensure completion during a 10-day scheduled outage. Since project completion in February 2012, reliability and efficiency has improved and faster system response has enabled the plant to react more quickly to changes in demand.

Part of the Iberdrola Group, the EnergyWorks Cartagena power plant is located in Cartagena (Murcia) on the south eastern coast of Spain. Fired by natural gas, the 95-megawatt, combined-cycle cogeneration facility, supplies process steam and power to the local plastics factory. The existing control systems needed to be upgraded to improve plant responsiveness, extend the life of the plant and maximize production efficiencies.

“We needed to use this opportunity to upgrade our systems to enable the plant to continue to provide efficient production. However, this had to be balanced against our obligation to maintain the supply of steam to our customer,” said Carlos González Costea, plant manager at EnergyWorks Cartagena. “Emerson not only had the right technologies, but also a service team that could demonstrate its experience with similar projects to ensure that our upgrade was completed on schedule.”

As part of the project, Emerson supplied four pairs of redundant Ovation controllers, installed the operating software and implemented the changeover during a 10-day planned shutdown of the plant. The upgrade was scheduled in two phases to minimize revenue lost due to the power station being off-line, and ensure a continuous supply of steam to the plastics factory. Emerson completed the transfer of the existing control logic to the new Ovation controllers well in advance of the shutdown to minimize the time required for on-site implementation.

“A key factor in the success of this project was the close cooperation between EnergyWorks and Emerson prior to the outage, as well as during the execution phase,” continued Carlos González Costea. “The experience and professionalism of both teams enabled them to understand the complexity of this multi-phase project and properly analyse all aspects. This resulted in an excellent migration whilst maintaining steam production.”

EnergyWorks Cartagena was keen to capitalize on the flexibility and adaptability of the Ovation control system, which is designed to easily incorporate the latest developments in communications, data processing and advanced applications.

The control systems are split into two sections, one covering the CHP plant and the other covering the separate package boilers. While the CHP plant was modernized, the package boilers generated the steam required by the plastics factory. Steam generation then reverted to the CHP plant during the upgrade of the package boilers. This allowed Emerson to ensure that the steam supply was uninterrupted and that local operation of auxiliary services was maintained.

"This was a particularly challenging migration project with a very tight timeframe,” said Bob Yeager, president of Emerson Process Management’s Power & Water Solutions business. “We have completed many similar upgrades at facilities around the world and our services team used their vast experience to engineer a seamless transition. We are delighted that EnergyWorks Cartagena is already experiencing improvements in availability, reliability and efficiency.”

About Emerson Process Management

Emerson Process Management (
www.EmersonProcess.com), an Emerson business, is a leader in helping businesses automate their production, processing and distribution in the chemical, oil and gas, refining, pulp and paper, power, water and wastewater treatment, mining and metals, food and beverage, life sciences and other industries. The company combines superior products and technology with industry-specific engineering, consulting, project management and maintenance services. Its brands include PlantWeb, Syncade, DeltaV, Fisher®, Bettis, Micro Motion®, Rosemount®, Daniel, Ovation and AMS Suite.

About Emerson

Emerson based in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and consumer markets around the world.  The company is comprised of five business segments: Process Management, Industrial Automation, Network Power, Climate Technologies, and Commercial & Residential Solutions.  Sales in fiscal 2012 were $24.4 billion.  For more information, visit

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Following an upgrade of the control systems at the EnergyWorks Cartagena power plant in Spain, reliability and efficiency has improved and the plant is able to respond more quickly to changes in customer demand

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The SABIC polycarbonate manufacturing plant (pictured) is supplied with steam from the neighboring EnergyWorks Cartagena power plant

Images courtesy of EnergyWorks Cartagena