Completed in 2008


In 2003, just 20 miles up the Mississippi River from New Orleans, one of the nation’s largest refineries was doing its part to supply our growing appetite for energy by modernizing to boost reliability and improve efficiency. A joint venture of Shell and Saudi Aramco, Motiva’s Norco operation currently processes 225,000 barrels per day of crude, producing approximately 10 million gallons of gasoline and 7 million gallons of jet fuel daily.

During that time, Motiva decided to completely re-instrument the facility with up-to-date Emerson digital technology. Foundation Fieldbus was a widely respected yet still relatively new standard for linking process instruments in high-speed data acquisition and control networks. There were concerns about committing to the new technology on such a large scale, but once the funding decision was settled, Motiva retained Emerson Process Management to install its Delta V Foundation Fieldbus system on an EPC basis. ISC went to work with Emerson while the project was still in the P&ID (Piping & Instrument Diagram) review stage.

Soon after ISC began work, it became clear that the job’s large size was a small part of the challenge. Engineering and construction would take place concurrently, and ISC would discover the true nature of the challenge the hard way — as the work was done.

By all accounts, Motiva Norco was an unqualified success. ISC associates accomplished what many felt was impossible. They set new standards for cut-overs, planning and work-site cooperation, and completed an extraordinarily complex, very hazardous assignment.

Project Facts

  • 255,385 Man-Hours
  • Hurricane Katrina hit during this project
  • ZERO Recordable Injuries
  • National Project of the Year Award (Eagle Award) by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)




ISC was able to provide a consistent and excellent electrical and instrumentation workforce. This was accomplished in a period that spanned the Katrina and Rita Hurricanes and the resulting manpower shortage in the Gulf Coast area.

— Emerson Process Management