Repsol has today announced that it is working with Google Cloud to launch a project that will use big data and artificial intelligence to optimize management of the Tarragona refinery. Refineries are among the largest and most complex industrial facilities.
Repsol’s Executive Managing Director of Downstream, María Victoria Zingoni, and Google’s Country Manager for Spain and Portugal, Fuencisla Clemares, participated in the launch of the project, which will be carried out in the Tarragona Industrial Complex and marks a pioneering challenge in the global refining industry.
This initiative puts the latest cloud technology from Google at the service of the refinery’s operators. Repsol’s objectives are to maximize efficiency, both in energy consumption as well as consumption of other resources, and to improve the performance of the refinery’s overall operations.
To achieve this, Google will make available to Repsol its data and analytics products, the experience of its professional services consultants and its machine learning managed service, Google Cloud ML, which will help Repsol’s developers to build and bring machine learning models to production in their refinery environment.
The management of a refinery involves around 400 variables, which demands a high level of computational capacity and a vast amount of data control. This is an unprecedented challenge in the refining world.
Until now, the highest number of functions integrated digitally in an industrial plant is around 30 variables, demonstrating the vast challenge this project presents. It aims to increase the number of variables being managed by more than 10 times. Repsol chose the Tarragona refinery to develop this initiative because the online configuration of its production schematics facilitates testing and implementation.
This project, as well as the collaboration with Google Cloud, is part of Repsol’s ongoing digitalization, innovation and technology projects development in all of its business units to improve its competitiveness and efficiency.
The project has the potential to add 30 cents on the dollar to Repsol’s refined barrel margin, which could translate to 20 million dollars annually for the Tarragona refinery, with significant upward growth if all optimization objectives are achieved.