Aspen Technology, Inc. recently announced that Sinopec Beijing Yanshan Petrochemical Co., Ltd (BYPC) has begun implementation of AspenTech's non-linear polymer production control solution at its BP Innovene polypropylene plant in Beijing, China.

The solution, which is based on the Aspen Apollo product, will enable Sinopec to optimize execution of product transitions and improve steady-state quality performance. The decision to adopt the solution follows an earlier successful implementation at the Sinopec Qilu polyethylene plant.

Sinopec is the largest producer of petrochemicals in China, and the fastest growing polyolefin producer in the Asia Pacific region. The company has a polyolefin production capacity of over 3.5 million tons per year, and during 2002 it produced more than 1.8 million tons of polypropylene at 15 sites across China.

BYPC is the second Sinopec plant to implement Aspen Apollo to help control and optimize its operations. AspenTech's production control solution has also been deployed at the Sinopec Qilu UNIPOL polyethylene plant in Qilu, eastern China, where it has delivered faster product transitions, reduced quantities of off-specification material and a significant increase in production capacity.

AspenTech is a world leader in the application of non-linear controllers to manage the highly complex process behavior found in polymer production. Unlike traditional advanced process control (APC) solutions that are based on simple linear models, non-linear controllers have model characteristics that vary according to the process operating point, enabling them to address the special requirements of polymer processes. The comprehensive non-linear modeling capability provided by Aspen Apollo delivers the high levels of accuracy and reliability required to successfully optimize and control even the most complex of transition strategies.

The Aspen Apollo technology has already been applied to a broad range of polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene process technologies. The polymer producers who have implemented AspenTech's solution are experiencing the benefit of accurate, real-time property predictions, reductions in off-specification material during transition and steady-state production, and increased plant capacity without capital expense for de-bottlenecking.

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