Refining Community Logo

Non-operator Tower of the Coker – Interlock and Automization

Presented By

Guenter Breuer - BP Gelsenkirchen

Dr. Asli Nau - BP Gelsenkirchen


Non-operator Tower of the Coker - Interlock and AutomizationDue to an accident in 2001, Gelsenkirchen Refinery decided to automize its coker operation to minimize the residence time for the operator in the structure to a minimum. The BP coker in Gelsenkirchen (Germany) is an example of a retrofit that has taken time, but the continued devotion to the process is an example to the industry that CAN and SHOULD be done. Operations and Technology would like to share their experiences in increasing safety in the semi-batch process of a coker. All process steps (drum switch / disconnecting and stripping / quenching and draining / cutting pressure test/warm-up) are completely automized.


  1. Non-operator drum operation – maximum safety
  2. Operator convenience
  3. Transparency and monitoring
  4. Harmonize Coker operation over all shifts
  5. Exclusion of false operation (High Level Interlock)
  6. Provision of rapid fault diagnosis and debugging
  7. Visualization of all program steps in the DCS
  8. Flexible sequence parameters to optimize cycle time
  9. Reliable operation

BP EngineersGünter Breuer, coker operation for the last 35 years at BP Gelsenkirchen (Germany), has developed and implemented the automization sequences in the DCS and also the High-Level Interlock valve system in the PLC. 

Asli Nau, process engineer of the coker at BP Gelsenkirchen (Germany), has developed and implemented HLI for the feed isolation/switch valve and worked in optimization of drum sequences.

More About RefComm
Refining Community