The leadership team for a small refinery was looking to reduce lost profit opportunity (LPO) through better turnaround management. They tasked the turnaround team with optimizing the long-range turnaround plan. However, the turnaround team lacked key data. While some historical information was available regarding turnaround cost, schedule, and scope, there was no data on how different approaches, such as longer or shorter turnaround intervals, affected outcomes.
AP-Networks’ associates worked with the turnaround organization to identify three options for the long-range plan:
- Option A: The current strategy
- Option B: Refinery-wide turnarounds
- Option C: Modified intervals and units
The refinery team understood the daily lost profit opportunity for each of the turnarounds, and had some understanding of the scope for Option A, the base case. AP-Networks’ associates developed scope, Direct Field Labor (DFL) hour, schedule, and cost benchmarks for each of the potential turnarounds that comprised Options A, B, and C. Based on these benchmarks and the refinery characteristics, AP-Networks’ associates also provided cost and schedule risk benchmarks for the turnarounds that accounted for refinery staffing. The study also helped communicate to the leadership team the size of the operations and turnaround organizations that would be necessary to successfully execute the turnarounds in each long-range plan option.
AP-Networks’ analysis found that successfully executing a refinery-wide turnaround required more personnel than the site had. Consequently, the refinery-wide turnaround represented the potential for $30 million in cost overruns, and more than one week of schedule slip. In addition, the refinery-wide event would be large enough to result in poorer productivity than mid-size turnarounds.
AP-Networks’ benchmarks demonstrated that, on average, Industry would save $5 million USD annually in cost and LPO savings by selecting Option C to optimize the turnaround interval, and that the change would not increase the risk of cost or schedule overrun. AP-Networks’ associates helped the turnaround team extend some intervals and organize the units in each turnaround to optimize risk and improve cost and schedule performance from Option A.
As a result of the actions suggested by AP-Networks’ associates, the turnaround team achieved greater turnaround flexibility for the refinery and enabled substantial turnaround savings over the years ahead. Option C did require minor capital investment to “decouple” a couple units. This study justified the minor capital investment, enabling substantial turnaround savings and greater refinery turnaround flexibility.