June 2004

Special Report: Process/Plant Optimization

Assessing profitability of real-time optimization

Perform these pre- and post-project audits

Beautyman, A. C., AspenTech

The purpose of refinery real-time optimization (RTO) is to make money ? but does it? And how much? RTO has been around in refining for a long time. There are many examples which show that RTO applications are capable of making an excellent profit and paying for themselves very rapidly. Key to achieving this is a solid RTO benefits audit procedure, both pre- and post-project. A pre-project audit helps eliminate some of the nos by screening out unattractive projects before they start. Post-project, it eliminates the don't knows by providing a firm basis to calculate and demonstrate monetary benefits. This article presents useful strategies for both types of RTO benefits audit.

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