Five minutes with Per Erik Holsten, ABB

Oil&Gas Middle East delves below the corporate strategy to understand what really makes the industry's leaders tick

Per Erik Holsten, senior vice president, ABB
Per Erik Holsten, senior vice president, ABB

Oil&Gas Middle East delves below the corporate strategy to understand what really makes the industry’s leaders tick

What are the latest trends in automation?
The market is here to stay. We see some very interesting technology being developed. What we anticipate to be the facility of the future are boilers and remote oprations. We see better connectivity between all the different components of the plant, i.e. between electrification and automation. For these type of things we see clear trends to move forward in the market.

What are some of the key considerations about automation?
The strength of execution is important. Of course the technology is here, but it is really how you configure the technology that is the important part. How to operate the system safely is obviously one key point; to take advantage of the automation system in order to increase productivity is another key consideration.

Would you like to highlight any interesting porjects?
I have seen an immense interest from customers in the region for this kind of technology. We are now delivering control and automation technology for the big Sadara project in Saudi Arabia. The size of that kind of petrochemical plant takes a lot of advanced control and advanced technology, which we have a diverse portfolio of.  The first plant will start up in the second quarter of 2015. ABB will be supplying overall SCADA system comprising of 160 RTUs and 4 terminal management system for the SCADA and Telecom project in IRAQ – overall project scope 160 RTUs , four terminal management system, 800 km optical fibre, 800 km anti intrusion and leak detection system and all solar and radio systems.

Cyber atacks are big concern for oil and gas companies at the minute. How does ABB take this on board?
Cyber security is built into our automation systems. There is a huge base of cyber security and security measures in the technology itself. We haven’t experienced any type of intrusion into our systems. In terms of that it is very secure and I don’t see any reason why companies should stop investing into automation systems. Absolutely not. On the contrary. I think it is important that they continue to invest in automation.

About the interviewee
Per Erik Holsten is a senior vice president and global head of chemicals, oil and gas at ABB. He joined ABB in 1986. Previously he served as a local division manager for process automation and local business unit manager for oil, gas and petrochemicals in Norway.

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Oil & Gas Middle East - September 2019

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