M S Benbow & Associates Team Earns Safety Excellence Award

DIMS Group at Shell/Motiva Norco achieves 10,000+ hour safety record

NORCO, LA—June 6, 2013—M S Benbow & Associates (MSB) was recognized with the 2012 Safety Excellence Award for its workplace safety performance at the Shell Norco Chemical Plant and Motiva Norco Refinery in St. Charles Parish, La. Continue reading


Power Distribution Center Design, 2.4kV Switchgear and MCC Replacement


A Mont Belvieu, Texas, Fractionation Facility was operating a 2.4kV electrical distribution system using 40-year-old outdoor switch gear and motor control centers. The company desired to replace and upgrade this lineup with new-generation switchgear and motor controller technology that meets current design standards and preferred engineering practices.  Replacement 2.4kV equipment design was based on vacuum contactor technology, completely isolated lo- voltage control cabinet, and microprocessor-based protective relays.

ONEOK Hydrocarbons Southwest, LLC selected M S Benbow & Associates (MSB) to provide professional engineering services.  MSB was contracted to write specifications and provide engineering and design expertise to provide a complete IFC Demolition and Installation Drawing Package to replace the outdoor 2.4kV equipment lineup. MSB also served as project engineer and project manager.

The electrical system would be designed for continuous and reliable operation, with an emphasis on operator safety and ease of maintenance.


ONEOK elected to replace the existing 2.4kV switchgear and motor control center and house the equipment in an elevated environmental-controlled Power Distribution Center (PDC) to provide climate control and remove flood hazards.

MSB wrote the specifications for both the new 2.4kV lineup and the PDC.  MSB wrote the Issued For Bid packages, sent it to selected vendors, evaluated their responses, and provided that information to ONEOK for vendor selection.  MSB assisted ONEOK in Purchase Order construction and provided oversight and review services of vendor drawings packages and technical issues.  As the process developed, design changes were made and implemented under the direction of MSB.

As the design team for ONEOK, MSB was also responsible for developing Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) procedures for the 2.4kV equipment and the new PDC.  They participated in the FATs as well as the commissioning and startup of the new system.

MSB developed a complete Demolition & Installation Drawing Package for the project, including:

  • Civil & Structural aspects of the job:
    • Number and types of building support piers
    • Number and types of cable tray bridge support piers
    • Concrete spread-footings for stairs, landings and tray supports
  • Electrical infrastructure:
    • PDC and cable tray grounding plan
    • Cable tray system
    • Power and control cable design and routing plan

Due to an unforeseen land use variance issue late in the design process, the client had to relocate the PDC building site from its planned location, requiring a redesign of the entire civil, structural, and power distribution scheme from the PDC to the loads.  MSB assigned additional resources to the job to meet the compressed project timeline.  This scope change involved extensive coordination between MSB and site contractors to meet deadlines.


The new 2.4kV power distribution system is designed to meet the most current design standards and preferred engineering practices, including vacuum contactors and micro-processor protective relays.  The new elevated PDC building is air-conditioned and well-lit.  It includes a state-of-the-art fire alarm system including an HVAC Shutdown Panel.  The building was designed for future equipment expansion.

ONEOK has replaced old technology (40-year-old outdoor electrical gear) with new state-of-the-art gear.  Reliability, operator safety, and maintenance issues are markedly improved.


Exploration & Production


For more than 20 years, M S Benbow & Associates (MSB) has helped oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) companies improve their communications and remote operations capabilities by utilizing the most advanced technologies. By enhancing offshore automation, MSB helps E&P companies gain more control of their offshore assets and reduce operating costs by having SMEs onshore.

Whether by developing technical architecture recommendations, assisting offshore communications support personnel with hardware upgrades and software implementations, or troubleshooting network connectivity issues, MSB can service any telecommunication or technology need. Our clients depend on our expertise in telecom and IT needs analysis; design, implementation, and monitoring of IT networks; and, RF analysis and performance design and modeling for wireless and telemetry solutions.


  • Perform network discovery and documentation for process control networks including Ethernet, Allen-Bradley Data-Highway+, ControlNet and proprietary systems from Honeywell, Yokogawa and DeltaV.
  • Develop technical architecture recommendations for Process Control Networks that meet Data Acquisition and Control Architecture security requirements.
  • Troubleshoot network connectivity issues related to firewalls and VPN Edge devices including PCN and DCS connectivity, telephone connectivity, and always-on video and audio between central and remote control rooms.
  • Assist offshore and onshore network management teams in upgrading hardware and network servers.
  • Develop as-built network diagrams to show final network configurations for offshore sites.
  • Provide technical network and communications consultation to support remote capabilities to offshore assets.
  • Offer network connectivity consultation for offshore and onshore systems including terrestrial, microwave and fixed or stabilized VSAT systems.
  • Perform FCC licensing for microwave satellite systems and trunked radio systems.

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.



M S Benbow & Associates (MSB) provides a wide array of services to refineries and the petrochemical industry. Whether it’s new construction, replacement or turnaround operations, we can handle all of your design, engineering and project management needs. MSB has a strong specialty in refining telecommunications and electrical engineering working on projects ranging from fiber optic networks to control system installs and upgrades.  Our project managers are engineers with real world experience and have earned the trust of refineries along the Gulf Coast by demonstrating professional discipline, vendor autonomy, and attention to detail.


  • Perform electrical services such as installs, upgrades and replacements of everything from motors to pressure transmitters and marshaling panels.
  • Install, upgrade and replace instrumentation & control systems.
  • Program Allen Bradly PLC-5 and SLC-500, Modicon, Wonderware (HMI), Siemens WinCC Flex (HMI), Modicon PLC and Fisher ProVox DCS.
  • Provide expansion, upgrade and maintenance of wireless and SCADA telecommunications systems including plant-wide evacuation and push-to-talk communications systems.
  • Draft and design project needs to meet the existing infrastructure.
  • Offer mechanical, civil and structural engineering services to develop and communicate specifications to contractors.
  • Supervise and manage projects from start to finish throughout all stages.
  • Members of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), International Society of Automation (ISA), and International Electrical Testing Association (NETA).  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.