Solution Employed

Benefits Achieved

• Co-developed a detailed, fit-for-purpose commissioning and startup plan
• Developed and completed a three-day, multi-disciplinary alignment workshop
• Conducted a benchmarking study to enable accurate setting of schedule targets


A leading refining and petrochemical company was challenged by limited experience with commissioning and starting up large capital projects. On a recent project, commissioning and startup extended well beyond plan, a setback that impacted other parts of the large, integrated refinery. Now, the site was facing a pending megaproject an order of magnitude larger in size and complexity.


The site’s megaproject involved both new and revamped facilities, and was set to have a deep impact on overall operations. At T-15 months before shutting down the first major unit, AP-Networks conducted a series of interviews with key operations, maintenance, reliability, and project staff in order to pinpoint key strengths and gaps, and understand how integration functioned at the site. Following an analysis of the interview results, AP-Networks provided a presentation to site leadership that defined major gaps against best practice.

Site leadership was dictating how long commissioning and startup were to take based on older, not entirely relevant events that did not reflect the needs of a megaproject. To gain a better understanding of schedule norms, AP-Networks conducted a benchmarking study that looked at recent Industry turnarounds with similar scope and size.

For the seven months following the initial interview, an AP-Networks associate worked with the site both on-site and remotely to develop a fit-for-purpose commissioning and startup plan. During this time, our associate educated the site on what goes into a commissioning and startup plan, worked to improve overall departmental integration into the megaproject, and held meetings to ensure alignment among site leadership, site personnel, and key contractors.


AP-Networks delivered a number of valuable takeaways to the client site to guide them through the pending megaproject and provide a strong foundation for future success.

  • The benchmarking study identified norms for mechanical completion relevant to the site’s project profile, allowing site leadership to better set schedule targets.
  • A customized three-day workshop was developed and completed with approximately 40 staff from different disciplines, achieving alignment among lead resources from operations, maintenance, the project team, and contractor teams.
  • A detailed commissioning and startup plan was co-developed for the site through several iterative reviews and discussions.

Going into the megaproject, the site is now equipped with the tools to set accurate schedule targets, maintain alignment, and most importantly, achieve predictable, competitive startup and commissioning performance for the upcoming megaproject and beyond.

Case Studies