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Proficy Process Systems Play Key Role In Alaskan Utility Project

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GE Fanuc Embedded Systems
: 09 August, 2010  (Application Story)
Privatisation project for army facilities to make use of end-to-end intelligent platforms based on GE’s Proficy process systems
Doyon Utilities of Fairbanks, Alaska, has embarked on a major multi-year project involving GE’s Proficy Process Systems for a major utility privatization project. Doyon, a Native regional organization, has been awarded a privatization contract for United States Army Forts Wainwright, Richardson and Greely in Fairbanks, Anchorage and Delta Junction, Alaska. The 50-year contract calls for Doyon to assume ownership, operation and maintenance of the electric, natural gas, steam and potable water distribution systems, as well as the wastewater collection system.

Upon taking over the utilities, Doyon was faced with an aging infrastructure that needed to be upgraded quickly and had to be replicated from plant to plant. Their goal was to improve the facilities through repair, rehabilitation, and replacement and therefore improve the quality and efficiency of the systems over time. After careful planning it was determined that the solution involved a complete system that could be integrated easily as existing plants were retrofitted, was scalable, and provided accurate control and information management.

Key to winning this project was the desire on Doyon’s part for a “turnkey” solution that could be trusted from inception through to the last implementation. According to Doyon Project Manager Robert Maxfield, the company wanted stable, optimized boiler control and power generation without having to buy power off the grid due to outages caused by antiquated control systems.

GE Intelligent Platforms was chosen to design, implement and integrate the new system that includes an end-to-end DCS solution based on the company’s breakthrough Proficy Process Systems facilitating operational excellence with continuous uptime, high availability, direct and supervisory control. In addition, Proficy Historian, coupled with GE’s Proficy Troubleshooter software, provide an enterprise-wide solution to enable accurate control and information management.

“This project falls right into the sweet spot for GE Intelligent Platforms,” said Maryrose Sylvester, President and CEO. “To gain insight and manage operations, companies like Doyon Utilities must be able to visualize, analyze and optimize every aspect of their processes, equipment and resources. By adding intelligence to their production environment, our innovative Proficy Process Systems and Proficy Historian solutions provide lower total cost of ownership, greater productivity, efficiency and profitability for a sustainable competitive advantage.”

The project commenced with the Fort Greely boiler controls and followed immediately by similar work at Fort Wainwright. The project at Wainwright will be executed in a phased approach starting with the boiler controls and moving on to coal handling and finally a retrofit of the ACC. The current work plans will span a minimum of three years, which will provide the locations with modernized controls, updated documentation and optimized generation of steam and power.

When completed, the company will have an end-to-end solution that offers freedom and flexibility at a lower cost of implementation and ownership. Proficy Historian will gather historical data to perform analytics that will allow them to extract knowledge from existing historical process and plant data. This information will be used to identify causes for production problems and the opportunity for preventing these problems in the future. In addition, they will be able to make use of increased process visibility for better and faster decisions and increased productivity.

“The privatization is expected to increase reliability and profitability of the utility services,” said Dan Gavora, CEO of Doyon Utilities. “By modernizing the aging infrastructure, we will also have the opportunity to track the use of electricity, water, wastewater and steam which could lead to further gains through conservation.”

Proficy is an example of how GE’s $4 billion-a-year software and solutions services businesses are helping customers improve productivity.

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