As energy firms grapple with capital restrictions and project delays amid coronavirus, ABB says its Adaptive Execution virtual platform can help overcome this disruption

Oil rig ABB

Oil producers in particular have had to re-assess their capital project plans amid the pandemic (Credit: ABB)

ABB has today introduced its Adaptive Execution platform aimed at helping energy customers overcome the challenging financial and logistical conditions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

The digital virtualisation portal aims to streamline the execution process of major capital-intensive projects, by integrating the planning, testing and development phases of a new venture under one template.

The Swiss-Swedish engineering giant says this can reduce automation-related capital expenditure (capex) by up to 40%, lower delivery schedules by up to 30% and start-up hours by up to 40%.

At a time when capital-spending budgets have been slashed industry wide, and projects have delayed or put on hold due to lockdown restrictions, companies are increasingly seeking out cost-cutting and operational-efficiency gains.

Peter Terwiesch, president of ABB’s industrial automation division, said: “2020 has been a year of disruptions across the global energy industry.

“With falling oil prices, challenges induced by the current lockdowns and the rising demand for sustainable energy investments, companies are looking for new ways to reduce cost, schedule and risk for major projects in this low-capex environment.”


ABB adaptive execution aims to lower on-site engineering hours

The pandemic has forced energy companies to scrutinise their project spending decisions this year like never before, while social restrictions have made in-person collaboration and on-site visits highly challenging.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates capital investment across the energy industry will fall by 20% this year – around $400bn – as firms confront the financial and operational implications of the health emergency.

Large capital projects across the energy sector frequently run over budget and beyond the expected timescale, which in this new environment is a risk many businesses are increasingly unwilling to take.

The Adaptive Execution platform focuses on efficiency and adaptability during project delivery, by digitally centralising the various development stages for all key stakeholders, simulating operational processes using digital twins, and enabling a “remote” delivery of key milestones.

ABB says this will “remove the need for engineering on site and reduce the physical hardware required for a control and automation system”, with the number of engineering hours spent on project installation, commissioning and testing able to be lowered by up to 85%.

It will “change the way customers, engineering procurement construction (EPC) contractors and vendors interact”, according to Brandon Spencer, president of ABB Energy Industries.

“We can create better business value for our customers by creating an environment where everyone can do his or her own part with confidence, empowering delivery teams to achieve more, in less time. This is the key to overall project success.”