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The Boiler Automation System Upgrade

Project Background

The Boiler Automation System Upgrade (BASU) projects were tasked with replacing the current boiler automation systems on U043 and U243 at Sasol Secunda plant. The intent of the BASU project were restoring the reliability and availability of the control and safety systems of Boiler 7 at U243.

The existing automation systems of the boiler units can be grouped into three distinct functions which are:

  • Boiler control system (including combustion control and the operator interface)
  • Boiler protection system
  • Burner management system

Project Scope

The scope included replacing the obsolete control, logic and protection systems with the latest supported technology together with a modernised boiler and combustion control strategy as well as better fault finding capabilities:

  • Replace the mill instrumentation together with selected field instruments to enable compatibility as well as compliance to client specifications
  • Provide an improved (integrated) operator interface for the boiler control and protection systems to meet the intent of the ASM philosophies
  • Provide a standardised boiler control and safety system design which can be re-used for future boiler migrations as per the larger boiler renewal strategy as far as possible
  • Evaluate mechanical and control & instrument compliance with South African legislation and newer addition of the original design code.

Proconics produced As-Built Isometrics of the existing installation to be used for the basis of detail design. A total of 53 new Piping Isometrics and 14 Mechanical General Arrangement drawings per boiler were produced as part of detail engineering scope. Proconics also supplied engineering support during construction, ensuring that the construction complied with the design intent of the project.


Proconics combined its expertise in the field of control engineering with an in-house mechanical design team to perform all detail engineering in house, including Mechanical, Electrical, Instrument and Piping engineering. This ensured the complex task of managing inter-discipline interfaces was done efficiently, reducing risk and complications for the client’s project team.

The Projects were completed with the following results:

  • On time, within budget and to business desired quality
  • Zero harm incidents
  • System designed for safety
  • No negative environmental impact
  • Compliance to legislation
  • Compliance to Client internal policies and procedures
  • Improved System Operability


  • Petrochemical
  • Oil & Gas


  • Mechanical Engineering