Petrolimex Sai Gon thirsts for Industry 4.0

Thuy Ha

08:38 AM @ Wednesday - 31 October, 2018

What is 4.0? how does it look like? Is it something general or specific? The Cong Thuong (Industry & Trade) magazine would like to provide an insight into the fourth industrial revolution through the application of ATG (Automatic Tank Gauging) as of October 1, 2018 at Nha Be Oil Terminal – Petrolimex Sai Gon).

ATG - historic milestone

Petroleum is a liquid commodity. Thus, there is a need for comprehensive and rigorous management of fire safety, environmental sanitation, and especially quality and quantity.

Besides legal regulations by State management bodies, enterprises themselves also have rules, regulations and procedures with a more detailed and strict level to complete their tasks.

Petrolimex Sai Gon’s petroleum conference 2018 held at Nha Be Oil Terminal

ATG is an automatic tank gauging. Previously, every day workers had to climb up each vertical tank, putting a tape measure down into the tank to record the actual fuel level. Then the workers examined the tank calibration table to determine the remaining cubic meter/tonne of fuel (FO).

This tank gauging process was also applied for the loading of petroleum into tank truck and the loading and unloading of petroleum through waterway (the loading of petroleum into small barges/tankers and the unloading of petroleum from large oil tankers).

Such traditional practice not only increases labour cost but also involves a lot of effort and time, and prolongs customers’ waiting time.

ATG will completely replace these traditional stpes. Nowadays, sitting at the Oil Terminal’s management centre – a professional staff can know exactly with high reliability relevant parameters of each tank, and each commodity as well as the loading and unloading of petroleum.

Central Management Office at the Nha Be Oil Terminal - Petrolimex Sai Gon

Thus, it can be said that ATG is 4.0 because the device automatically measures the height, checks tank calibration table, calculates fuel volumne, stores information and issues data used as legal evidence for the delivery and receipt of petroleum, and makes inventory at the end of each shift, day, or makes periodical and unexpected inventories; and connects with ERP – the enterprise resource planning software.

Reduced labour cost means increased labour productivity, quick process will facilitate customers in loading and unloading petroleum at the Oil Terminal, and once the circulation of petroleum through the terminal increases, the coefficient and efficiency of operation at tanks and warehouses will also increase. And more importantly, the practice will help mitigate unwanted factors that may occur due to human involvement.

Therefore, it can be said that ATG is a historic milestone of Petrolimex Sai Gon, of historical Nha Be Oil Terminal.

ATG - a new start

There would be a lot of work for ATG to be officially applied. Investment into equipment, science and technology, software and connection is just one thing.

All equipment and technologies must be tested and assessed in reality many times. It means that regular activities are conducted simultaneously by manual methods and ATG to collate and evaluate the differences.

Next is the implementation of legal procedures to officially recognise ATG operation and replace traditional methods and the issuance of legal normative processes for such official operation.

Once ATG is completely qualified for official application on October 1, 2018, Petrolimex Sai Gon leadership will embark on many other works.

For example, valves which are still opened mannually in loading petroleum into oil tankers will be replaced by remote control system and concentrated management.
With the development project of Nha Be Oil Terminal towards 2030, the leadership of Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex) and Petrolimex Sai Gon targets to equip Nha Be Oil Terminal with the world’s most advanced science and technology.

In the immediate future, Petrolimex Sai Gon targets to import and export seven million cubic meter/tonne of petroleum in 2020, apply electronic identification and further reduce the vessel retention time by 20 per cent right in 2019 (in the first half of 2018, the company exported and imported 3.1 million cubic meter/tonne of petroleum whilst vessel retention time decreased 15 per cent as compared to 2017, and actual loss is lower than the set target).

Chairman’s aspiration

Speaking to representatives of State management bodies, customers, Petrolimex leaders and Petrolimex professional divisions recently, Chairman of Petrolimex Sai Gon Nguyen Van Canh shared the ambition of the company’s leaders, managers and labourers.

“Under the rapid development of science and technology – our words and deeds must match and whatever we do we must do it with a strong determination to the end to make breakthroughs, and qualitative changes,” Canh said.

First, it will help increase efficiency of investment capital flow. Second, it helps enhance labour productivity and business efficiency (reduce labour cost & losses). Third, it helps ensure safety, accuracy, and transparency in commercial transactions with customers as well as in corporate management.

These will lead to complete automation of all operations at the Oil Terminal, and all operations will be overseen from the Central Management Office, Canh said.

“Frankly speaking, Nha Be Oil Terminal has not yet approached Industry 4.0. To that end, there is a lot of work to do and follow the roadmap, following the development trend of science and technology and petrol tank automation. We already have a master plan, and concerned sections will make concrete plans to drastically realise the plan,” he added.

“Nha Be Oil Terminal is history and we are proud of the revolutionary tradition of the Oil Terminal by resolving to catch up with the rapid development of the era to stand side by side the world’s most modern oil terminals. We commit to bring about an accurate, transparent, convenient and civilised trade for all customers; a professional and scientific working place to deserve the well-known brand of Petrolimex,” said the Petrolimex Sai Gon chairman.

Vietnam National Petroleum Group - Petrolimex (PLX)

Committed to constantly making an effort to go further on the path of development and bring the lives of Vietnamese people and all Petrolimex employees to new heights in the future