DEBOTTLENECKING PROJECT IN SHANGHAI, CHINA
In reaction to the booming Asian market, a leading chemical company based in Shanghai, China was aiming to increase production capacity by 30% (350 – 500kt per year) through a debottlenecking project at its largest production site. The project would last four and a half years, with an investment of approximately €900M and would impact five production and utility facilities, with the tie-ins from the project being included in an 80-day planned turnaround (TAR). Due to the high complexity and strategic importance of the TAR, T.A. Cook was invited to provide expertise and ensure the project tie-ins were successfully integrated into the TAR preparation and execution phase. A combined team of three T.A. Cook consultants and two engineers were commissioned to support the project over a 10-month period covering both preparation and execution phases.
Using our industry experience, the project targeted key problem areas within CAPEX integration that, when applied incorrectly, are frequently major contributors to failure in achieving final objectives.
These focus areas were narrowed down to the following priorities: Organizational roles and responsibilities (R&R), Integrated scheduling (development and execution), Risk management and an Integrated execution plan.
The approach covered concept design and implementation, incorporating T.A. Cook best practices principles, methodology and tools. Our training and coaching approach during the implementation focused on improved process and tools. Our engineers providing more technical scheduling training that ensured the 3 schedulers of the site had the relevant skills to support future events.
Organization and R&R (Management of TAR)
The organization structure was improved, roles and responsibilities were clarified with the goal to integrate two teams working in silos into one unit that would execute the TAR effectively. A series of training workshops targeting the management and execution teams were delivered with follow up one-to-one coaching sessions. The series of workshops covered organizational structure, roles and responsibilities, interface management, meetings and communications.
Integrated Execution Plan
An execution plan was defined that supported integration of CAPEX into the TAR. The plan was communicated to the execution and construction teams through a series of workshops. Workshops focused on execution organization, logistics and infrastructure, permitting, warehousing and material management.
TAR Scheduling and Risk Management
T.A. Cook scheduling experts led the design of the schedule concept based on best practice principles, and then lead the development of that concept into an integrated TAR execution schedule. A series of critical elements regarding scheduling were enhanced:
– The transparency of the different project stages
– Improved resource balancing with consideration of task priorities, resource scarcity and risk
– Comprehensive schedule optimization practice
– Dynamic scheduling: daily forecast of completion dates for individual tasks and changes
– Reduced scheduling and reporting complexity by standardizing planned activities
– Multiple rounds of scheduling audits to ensure schedule quality
– Increased meeting efficiency and reduced daily meetings
– Sign off and agreement of integrated schedule by all parties
Schedule Risk Management
T.A Cook took the project risk register and applied the risks to evaluate the impact they would have on the execution schedule’s critical and near critical path. Using a Monte Carlo Simulation, T.A. Cook evaluated the risks, probabilities, and impacts on execution duration. By identifying these risks, appropriate mitigations were identified and put in place to reduce the level of impact. The Monte Carlo Simulation also exposed critical tasks which could not be technically indicated as part of the critical path. The identification of hidden critical path made the TAR forecast more tangible.
During the 3-month TAR execution, the scheduling team perfectly fulfilled the responsibility of reporting to different management levels. T.A. Cook scheduling experts delivered a dynamic schedule that reflected real-time progress. Changes and findings that occurred during execution were implemented into the integrated schedule, retaining the dynamic approach required, allowing for different scenarios to be developed and analyzed to support the management team’s decision making.
The TAR organization aligned on an integrated schedule. CAPEX tie-ins were integrated into the overall TAR schedule to successfully deliver objectives within budget and duration, and with zero safety incidents. Production successfully re-started with increased capacity and nine days earlier than planned.
The process required only 1% of planned total man-hours for scheduling preparation and execution, while the average percentage of scheduling function manhours is 1.5%-2%. Thus, with T.A. Cook support, the scheduling team achieved more with less people.