11/21/2019 | Inovation and development

Datathon | Galp challenges data scientists to innovative competition at the Sines Refinery

  • Data scientists teams from universities in Portugal, Spain and England gathered in Sines for a competition designed to optimise industrial processes in the refinery.
  • The digital transformation applied to the industry (Industry 4.0) integrated in Galp’s global strategy aims to develop innovative solutions that improve operations and make Galp a smart company.
  • The competition, focusing on Analytics and Big Data, will award a 50 thousand Euro prize to the winning team.

The Sines Refinery will host a competition between data scientists from several Portuguese and European universities. This event – designated as Datathon and organised by Galp’s Digital Transformation unit –, takes place between Friday and Sunday and will gather data scientists from eight universities for a challenge: optimising the performance of a process unit in the Sines refinery, thus enhancing the global capacity of Galp’s refining scheme.

The data scientists in this international competition focusing on data obtained from processes, represent the University of Valencia, the University of Castilla-La Mancha, the Liverpool John Moores University, Instituto Superior Técnico, the University of Coimbra, the University of Aveiro, the Engineering School of the University of Porto, and the Science and Technology School of the New University of Lisbon. 

The final analysis to each team’s proposals to respond to the challenge posed by Galp will be carried out by an independent jury, in a ceremony scheduled for Sunday. If a solution is selected as the winner, the presenting team will receive the prize of 50 thousand Euros.

Integrated in Galp’s global strategy for the development of innovative solutions that improve the efficiency of their operations and processes and contribute to reduce costs, this initiative also reflects the company’s commitment to open up to the global innovation ecosystem, and a new firm step to acknowledge the crucial role of big data in the demand for solutions that address the challenges the energy industry is facing.

“Galp is committed to the path of transformation. It is an irreversible process for Galp’s future and for the changes the whole industry faces. Data is the new fuel and machine learning, artificial intelligence and other analytical techniques allow for a quality boost that is measurable in knowledge and intelligent decision-making, which have changed the business. The 4.0 industry is a clear example that using these techniques facilitates the OT/IT (Operational technology/ Information technology) convergence. Being open to partnerships with the academy in cutting-edge knowledge areas can contribute to speeding up this transformation process”, explains Galp’s Chief Information and Digital Officer, Nuno Pedras.

As an example, Galp developed in 2018 a partnership with IBM Brazil focused on cognitive computing which significantly improves the results of seismic interpretation in the field of oil and gas exploration.

In the specific case of Datathon, the aim is to seek answers for the challenges associated to the work cycles of a processing unit in the Sines Refinery.

Galp’s refining apparatus has been the object of a constant modernisation work, of which Digitalisation is an integral part. We aim for a growing involvement of our Teams and the improvement in the efficiency of operations.

Galp has a modern integrated refining system and with a high level of complexity, composed by the Sines and Matosinhos Refineries which, together, represent a processing capacity of 330 thousand barrels of crude oil per day, around 20% of the Iberian refining capacity.