powerMAX Prevents Blackouts at Motor Oil Hellas Refinery

<span class="selism--small-caps">powerMAX</span> Prevents Blackouts at Motor Oil Hellas Refinery



Oil refineries have critical processes that depend on reliable power sources. Power outages or interruptions can prove catastrophic, with potentially devastating economic and environmental consequences.

To generate efficient and reliable power, refineries use onsite power generators. However, as the number of onsite generators grows, so does the need to monitor power generation and manage loads throughout the facility.

Motor Oil Hellas’s first power protection system relied on slow, unreliable electromechanical relays. When an event occurred (e.g., a system trip), they were unable to determine root cause because they lacked any system diagnostics.

Motor Oil Hellas was looking for a more powerful means to improve the speed, accuracy, and overall reliability of their power system. Fast power system response would be key to ensuring better power stability, fewer blackouts and higher process uptime.

Customer Profile

  • Customer: Motor Oil Hellas Corinth Refineries S.A.
  • Location: Maroussi, Greece
  • Industry: Oil and Gas (Petroleum)
  • Application: Power Management System

Motor Oil Hellas operates the second-largest refinery in Europe. Based in Maroussi, Greece, the company’s main activities are oil refining and oil products trading. Motor Oil Hellas is the only lubricant producer and packager in Greece and is a leading petroleum supplier in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean.


As part of their plant expansion, Motor Oil Hellas selected the SEL powerMAX Power Management and Control System to provide protection and wide-area control. The powerMAX automated control functions were specifically designed to prevent, detect, and mitigate blackouts and maximize system uptime. Automated functions within the POWERMAX system control major power system assets for optimal economic operations.

A driving factor in the selection of the SEL POWERMAX system was its very fast operating time of less than 40 milliseconds when compared with competitor systems, which operate in seconds. Only the SEL solution had the speed to react quickly and maintain system stability.



The powerMAX solution provides the following benefits for the facility:

  • Increased system uptime.
  • Enhanced power system reliability.
  • Proactive maintenance, enabled by diagnostic and reporting tools.
  • Minimal unscheduled process downtime.
With the new complete package of integrated protection and monitoring, we have made significant progress toward improving the reliability of our electrical distribution system. The system is much better now... We also now truly know that our protection system is always working. [Several times], the new POWERMAX system has helped us avoid losses of major transformers and motors.
Vassilis ViziryiannakisSection Head, Motor Oil Hellas

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