Industrial Video Surveillance System Installation with Fiber Connectivity to Central Control Room

A chemical refinery seeking to consolidate its system operators into a central control room away from pumps, heaters and valves located in hazardous areas needed a video surveillance system that could reliably monitor equipment in sensitive locations.The move would help the client limit exposure of its personnel to potentially dangerous areas, with a special focus on areas most likely to experience a failure or event.

With the presence of highly corrosive chemicals in the hazardous areas, the monitoring system would require intrinsically safe explosion-proof rated cameras and enclosures able to withstand exposure to corrosive materials.

The ability to access accurate and timely information is critical to allow the plant to respond swiftly to incidents that could affect the quality and safety of its operations and overall security. A turnkey design and installation was provided to convert an analog video surveillance system to a digital CCTV system that would allow the operators to remotely monitor hazardous areas of the plant from a new central control room. The system was designed to support future expansion while being efficient with the use of fiber infrastructure.

The engineering team selected camera housings and mounts that are explosion-proof rated and resistant to corrosion, and high-resolution cameras to accommodate extreme lighting conditions.

The project team installed more than 36 CCTV cameras in five different units to provide video surveillance coverage of all of the facility’s critical operation areas. Camera placements were selected based on providing maximum coverage, with additional cameras mounted in areas that had experienced past incidents of fire or explosion. Monitors for each of the 36 video surveillance cameras were incorporated into control room consoles.

In some areas where traditional methods for camera mounting was an issue, the team configured a lens designed to allow the camera/housing to be mounted in safer areas, but still provide the field of vision needed to monitor the equipment.

The new video surveillance system allowed the client to locate its employees to a central control room away from potentially dangerous equipment and chemical hazards.

The video system has already provided a return on the investment by allowing operators to discreetly manage key operations areas and respond rapidly to equipment failures. The rapid response to failures based on the surveillance systems has contributed to the overall safety of the plant.


SCADA System for Wastewater Treatment Facility


Dock sumps at a petrochemical company process large volumes of liquid oil waste from the dock platform and sanitary waste from operator shelters through skid-mounted pumps and hose manifold stations. Sump pumps then transfer the sump contents to the plant’s waste treatment pumping system, where recovered oil is delivered to tanks while untreated water that meets environmental permit requirements is discharged into the Mississippi River. This transfer operation is controlled by existing float switch pump controls with a manual run option.

The client needed a Wastewater Treatment Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system upgrade with a more reliable radar signal to meet environmental, safety, manpower and maintenance concerns and comply with Marine Terminal Design Standards.


M S Benbow & Associates (MSB) was contracted to upgrade current controls to a SCADA and telemetry for the pump stations, which involved monitoring the sump alarms, levels and pump status at seven remote sewage pump stations, integrating all of the stations on the same SCADA, communications and telemetry platform.

MSB was the engineering firm responsible for drafting & design, engineering, specification and testing of the SCADA upgrade.

The project to install equipment and instrumentation necessary to meet the standards required elevated dock sump vents and visual and audible high-level alarms. Per the standards, the sumps must be a closed system with a vent to the atmosphere. The vents should be pressure/vacuum regulated and discharge a minimum of 9.8 feet (3 m) above platforms and 50 feet (15 m) from any equipment; and sump tanks should be designed with high-level alarms displayed in a central manned location.

Work required was to:

  • Install mechanical piping as necessary to move vent point to 9.8 feet above sump top and 50 feet from any nearby equipment.
  • Piping modifications at the sumps would require flushing and inerting the vessels so structural supports could be installed to support additional vertical and horizontal sections of vent piping to meet elevation and distance requirements.
  • Install pressure-vacuum vent relief valve on vent piping.
  • Install SCADA system components (wireless radios, programmable logic controller and enclosures with battery backup) and local alarm beacon and siren at each dock location.  Continuous level and high level alarms will be displayed at each sump location as well as a centralized manned operator location.
  • Install process connection on sump for new radar-level instruments.
  • The SCADA/alarm panel enclosure components were DC powered sourced from a battery bank located within the enclosure. The battery bank consisted of two redundant 24 VDC power supplies as a charging source fed from the docks’ 120VAC power panels. Each new alarm panel would receive power supply from two sources, the docks’ local power panel and an emergency battery bank reserve.


MSB developed a test procedure for the client to field function test the wireless SCADA system as well as participate in a factory acceptance test prior to converting to the new system.

The system continuously monitors inputs, transmits the sensor readings at regular intervals, and alerts operators when an alarm is detected. The system can also be monitored remotely 24/7.

The project established more reliable and accurate level-measuring instruments. Furthermore, because of the new wireless SCADA infrastructure at these dock locations, installation costs were minimal.

The system will reduce the operation’s probability of overflowing the sumps into the Mississippi River, thereby reducing the client’s environmental impact. Increased reliability also can potentially prevent downtime, expensive fines or lost revenues.


Sulfur Stack Continuous Emissions Monitoring System (CEMS)


An existing sulfur dioxide (SO2) analyzer located at grade in an analyzer shelter utilized a conditioned dry sample feed while an O2 analyzer located near the top of the stack utilized a wet sample basis. Both the SO2 and O2 analyzers were connected to a programmable logic controller (PLC) for validation controls. Individual O2 and SO2 uncorrected concentration values were being measured and connected to the distributed control system (DCS); where they were then corrected using calculations.

The client needed to install a new continuous emissions monitoring system (CEMS) to meet current federal EPA performance and reporting requirements. This new CEMS would report emissions data back to a central data acquisition system for reporting and historizing the data.


M S Benbow & Associates (MSB) was enlisted to provide engineering, drafting and design, system planning, cost estimate planning and construction assistance to enable the client to comply with this new EPA reporting criteria.

The scope of the project included:

  • Replacing and upgrading the O2 analyzer to one that could measure a dry sample basis. This involved removing and blinding the existing in situ connection.
  • Installing a new SO2 sensor/analyzer in existing shelter at grade and connecting the sample feed to an existing system.
  • Replacing validation controls (via an existing PLC) with a new CEMS controller/Data Acquisition and Data Handling System to ensure accurate validation functions. The CEMS controller connected to the existing plant analyzer V-LAN network via newly installed Ethernet switch. CEMS historization and reporting requirements would be available via the CEMS server.
  • Connecting priority one hardwire alarms to the DCS as well as the analog concentration readings. The other pertinent data was sent to the CEMS server via the Ethernet connection.
  • Existing raw SO2 and O2 concentration signal wiring to DCS remained in place, and a new corrected SO2 measurement value was connected to DCS via the new CEMS controller. Various other data points and alarms were sent to the CEMS Data Acquisition Server via the dedicated fiber network.
  • Since the old PLC functionality was replaced by the new CEMS controller, the PLC was converted into the new analyzer building alarm system. New interior building monitors (O2 depletion, smoke alarm) were installed; exterior beacon and siren warned of possible interior hazards; and alarms were hardwired to the DCS.


MSB recommended an additional level of functionality testing to ensure the system would work as intended. This PLC checkout test procedure, in addition to the factory accepted test procedure, allowed for the seamless upgrade, installation and validation of the CEMS system.

In addition to meeting compliance with new federal EPA performance and monitoring requirements, the client was able to incorporate the PLC function into installing new safety measures.


Industrial Electrical System Optimization through Analysis


A large Oil & Gas storage and transportation company with a major storage location in Texas and various stations along its pipeline needed assistance analyzing its electric utility system. The company’s liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage complex in Mont Belvieu, Texas, one of the nation’s largest, delivers LPG to customers as far away as New York. The facility was experiencing excessive voltage drops under normal conditions and various rural locations along the distribution pipeline also were experiencing electrical transmission issues.

The company needed a qualified engineering company to perform analyses and make recommendations for improving the electrical distribution system at the Mont Belvieu storage property as well as several rural locations along the pipeline system.


Understanding how electric generation, transmission, and delivery systems interact and operate is paramount to guaranteeing reliable sources of electricity. Bringing a combination of detailed theoretical modeling and real-word experience, M S Benbow & Associates (MSB) was enlisted to conduct power system engineering studies and provide system capacity and optimization analyses for the oil and gas pipeline electrical system.

MSB evaluated existing studies performed by local power utility companies and developed a model of the storage facility’s electrical distribution system using SKM Power*Tools DAPPER and TMS software modules. Engineers also performed a modified load flow and motor starting analysis and a system fault current analysis.

MSB provided detailed flow analysis reports for several operating scenarios, a transient motor starting analysis for different starting methods and operating loads, recommendations to improve and upgrade the performance of the electrical system, and cost estimates for different solutions for achieving varying degrees of reliability.


The client applied the studies to its upgrade projects and was able to determine the most cost-effective solutions for optimizing the electrical distribution system that met its financial and reliability goals.

The client realized savings at the storage facility by improving voltage levels without having to increase distribution voltage or purchase and install electrical equipment such as auto-transformers and larger conductors. In one location along the pipeline route, the local utility recommended a seven-figure investment to install new lines while the client was able to present a six-figure alternative recommended in the MSB-provided analysis. The line work was later scheduled as part of the utility’s routine maintenance at no cost to the client, resulting in substantial financial savings.




M S Benbow & Associates (MSB) is a leader in the field of electrical engineering and performs electrical analysis, reliability improvements, equipment retrofits and grassroots designs for various industries across the Gulf Coast including refineries, chemical plants and pipeline facilities. With a long history of handling complex and time-sensitive projects, we serve our clients’ needs in an efficient manner while always maintaining industry standards for reliability and safety.  With more than 20 years experience, our engineers have provided detailed engineering and design of electrical power distribution systems, system analysis, troubleshooting and technical support.


  • Create initial design and all levels of technical documents, including estimation, scope, specification, design and installation packages.
  • Provide all levels of system analysis to ensure that electrical systems are adequately rated and determine additional capacity, system reliability and safety.
  • Develop the required documentation to assist clients in understanding how to safely start-up, commission and operate their electrical systems.
  • Troubleshoot and assist clients in determining causes for failures and course of action to get systems back online.
  • Members of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), International Society of Automation (ISA), Louisiana Engineering Society (LES), National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), and the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). For a complete list of all affiliations and certifications click here.

Chemical Manufacturing


M S Benbow & Associates (MSB) provides a wide array of services to chemical manufacturing plants and has extensive experience engineering and maintaining specialty communication systems that operate in a petrochemical environment. From capital expansion projects, maintenance of systems or general infrastructure improvements, we can handle services ranging from design and engineering to project management. MSB assigns both engineers and designers with real world experience to the project, and we support the trade disciplines that perform the field installation and commissioning. For over 30 years, MSB has earned the trust of chemical manufacturing plants along the Gulf Coast and has personnel on staff with the specialized safety training and credentials to work in petrochemical facilities.


  • Develop specifications and engineering design for electrical, instrumentation and communications systems.
  • Install, upgrade and replace instrumentation & control systems.
  • Program in multiple analysis programs such as SKM Power*Tools, EasyPower, and ETAP
  • Expand, upgrade and maintain wireless and SCADA telecommunications systems including plant-wide evacuation and push-to-talk communications systems.
  • Support system construction and commissioning.
  • Provide mechanical, civil and structural engineering services to write specifications for contractors.
  • Supervise and manage projects from start to finish throughout all stages.
  • Members of the Louisiana Chemical Industry Alliance (LCIA) and Louisiana Chemical Association. For a complete list of all affiliations and certifications click here.

Instrumentation & Control Systems


Since 1978, M S Benbow & Associates (MSB) has engineered and designed instrumentation and control systems for Gulf Coast clients in multiple industries. Our senior engineers have specialized experience in control systems, analytical applications and safety instrumented systems. From conception through detailed design, we can service any need in process measurements, distributed control systems, PLC programming, analytical measurements, and critical safety instrumented systems.

Petroleum and chemical refineries around the Gulf South regularly call on MSB to handle projects that address safety and compliance and provide financial return from improved operations. MSB holds a Safety Instrumented Systems Certification from the International Society of Automation.


  • Provide engineering and design for the construction and implementation of various process measurement, monitoring, and control instrumentation.
  • Modify existing ladder programs for applications or specify and program a new controller and/or HMI screens.
  • Specify and design a host of analytical systems ranging from O2 and ph monitoring to continuous emissions monitoring for EPA compliance.
  • Identify and implement new process controls or optimize a facility’s or pipeline’s measurements and controls.
  • Assist in the risk and hazard analysis process and calculate SIL for various instrumented system scenarios.
  • Identify appropriate safety level systems.
  • Perform turnaround/shutdown planning, coordination and supervision assistance.
  • Design supervisory control and data acquisition systems.
  • Members of the International Society of Automation (ISA). For a complete list of all affiliations and certifications click here.

Project Management


M S Benbow & Associates (MSB) specializes in project management providing services in conceptualization, definition, design, planning, coordination, scheduling and implementation.  We adhere to a project management methodology based on the doctrine advocated by the Project Management Institute and its PMBOK® guide that is tailored to fit the technical and commercial terms of the project.  The planning process and scope definition result in classic Work Breakdown Structures (WBS) and templates that are valuable tools for organizing and managing the actual work, duration and budget involved in producing a deliverable.

We have a strong commitment to dependable and reliable project management capabilities that include electrical, instrumentation, mechanical, civil/structural and communication engineering services. We have managed new project installations, equipment upgrades, plant turn-around operations, and retrofit projects for clients throughout the Gulf South.  MSB’s senior level managers have an average of more than 20 years experience in the engineering design, construction, procurement, and consulting phases of project management.


  • Perform project plan development including scope definition and planning; activity definition, sequencing, duration estimating, and scheduling; resource planning, cost estimating and budgeting; and, risk identification, analysis and management planning.
  • Develop a project schedule by factoring the structure, sequence of tasks, and constraints of the project and its activities.
  • Coordinate and evaluate bids and RFQs to provide recommendations to the client.
  • Create project budgets using cost considerations and baselining to support earned value measurement and reporting.
  • Execute project plan with attention to quality assurance, team development, information distribution, solicitation and source selection, and contract administration.
  • Integrate change control through scope verification; schedule, cost and quality controls; performance reporting; and, risk monitoring and control.
  • Tailor Microsoft Project and other software tools to highlight milestones and critical path line items and to create custom reporting that match the requirements of the project and client.
  • Schedule routine meetings with the client and subcontractors to review progress, provide statistical reporting and discuss the impact of variances and deviations from the overall plan.
  • Communicate with contractors, suppliers and consultants to ensure project is completed efficiently, on schedule and within budget.
  • Perform contract closeout and administrative closure.
  • Members of the Louisiana Engineering Society (LES), National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) and Louisiana Society of Professional Engineers. For a complete list of all affiliations and certifications click here.