by Tina Olivero

    ABB Wins Automation Contract for Cerilon’s First Gas-to-Liquids Plant

    MARCH 9, 2023

    ABB has been awarded the contract for front-end design services for automation, electrical and advanced digital solutions at Cerilon’s first gas-to-liquids facility. The greenfield site in North Dakota, USA, will produce up to 24,000 barrels per day of high-performance synthetic energy products including ultra-low sulfur diesel, naphtha and lubricant base oils from natural gas reserves.

    The first phase of the build is due to start operating in 2028. The site also aims to integrate carbon capture and storage technology to collect CO2 emissions at the location for transport to underground storage reservoirs. 

    The project will use automation and digital twin technology, which provides a virtual replica of a physical process or facility to test scenarios and ensure the design is future-proof and fit for purpose.

    “No other GTL facilities in the world have CCS, making us the least carbon-intensive. We appreciated ABB’s visionary approach to this project. Their team understood the requirements and presented us with excellent automation and digitalization solutions,” said Nico Duursema, Chief Executive Officer of Cerilon. “ABB has pioneered power and automation technologies and holds market leadership in these areas. We look forward to collaborating with them and leveraging their competencies.”

    ABB will develop the Automation Design Basis (ADB) methodology which will influence and guide the automation project throughout the system lifecycle execution.

    Serving as the core strategy guidance, it includes reference frameworks, specifications and requirements, as well as engineering and maintenance activities, to ensure safe, reliable and smart operations at the GTL facility.

    The design will also include the application of advanced digital solutions for performance optimization and operational integration, resulting in a future-proof plant design that can be replicated for additional new builds.

    “It is a privilege to be selected as Cerilon’s automation partner to help create one of the most technologically advanced GTL facilities in the world while meeting the challenges of the energy transition head-on,” said Brandon Spencer, President of ABB Energy Industries. “By incorporating CCS technology, this project will help accelerate global decarbonization, minimizing emissions to ensure future energy infrastructures are more sustainable.”

    ABB’s Process Automation business is a leader in automation, electrification and digitalization for the process and hybrid industries. We serve our customers with a broad portfolio of products, systems, and end-to-end solutions, including our # 1 distributed control system, software, and lifecycle services, industry-specific products as well as measurement and analytics, and marine offerings. As the global #2 in the market, we build on our deep domain expertise, diverse team and global footprint, and are dedicated to helping our customers increase competitiveness, improve their return on investment and run safe, smart, and sustainable operations.


    ABB is a technology leader in electrification and automation, enabling a more sustainable and resource-efficient future. The company’s solutions connect engineering know-how and software to optimize how things are manufactured, moved, powered and operated. Building on more than 130 years of excellence, ABB’s ~105,000 employees are committed to driving innovations that accelerate industrial transformation.


    Cerilon, headquartered in Calgary, Canada, is a company with experience in developing and operating global entities in the energy, petrochemical, service and resource-based industries.


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