Sasol taps Emerson to automate planned Louisiana cracker, GTL complex

Sasol has chosen Emerson Process Management for a comprehensive program to automate its planned integrated gas-to-liquids (GTL) and world-scale ethane cracker complex in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

The automation program’s overall scope -- including dozens of integrated process units and more than 100,000 measurement and control points -- makes it one of the largest Emerson has been awarded.

Sasol said it anticipates a total investment of $16 billion to $21 billion in the two facilities. When completed, the GTL plant will transform the region’s abundant low-cost shale gas into high-performance, low-emissions diesel and other transportation fuels.

The adjacent ethane cracker and derivatives plant will convert ethane to ethylene and other downstream derivatives.

As main automation contractor, Emerson will provide the majority of the process automation technologies, engineering, and ongoing support services for the operations under a long-term agreement.

“Emerson has the expertise, technologies, and experience -- particularly on large, complex projects -- to help us optimize the return on these investments for years to come," said Johan du Preez, executive vice president of US mega projects for Sasol.

Emerson’s automation solution for the Sasol plants is based on its PlantWeb digital plant architecture, which includes its industry-recognized control and safety systems, control valves, and measurement and analytical instruments. Initial automation planning and engineering work will begin immediately, according to the companies.

“This project will tap natural gas supplies to generate high-value products and help grow the economy," said Steve Sonnenberg, president of Emerson Process Management

Emerson has added more than 2,500 engineers and said it is extending its services program to provide rapid and comprehensive support to keep plants running at peak efficiency and reliability. Emerson noted that it is also planning a significant service facilities and personnel expansion in Louisiana, including the development of a global service center in Gonzales, Louisiana.

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