Facility-wide Complex Turn Around Cost Optimisation (TACO) Project

We undertook a particularly challenging objective to optimise the turnaround strategy for Petrokemya's entire facility comprising six plants and utilities installations, generating multi-million-dollar annual benefits.
Estimated US$ 40M benefit
Lost production days reduced by 17%
Identified upgrade requirements critical to extending the intervals
Contract Objectives

Ranked among the world’s largest petrochemicals manufacturers, SABIC is a public company based in Saudi Arabia, with operations in over 50 countries, a global workforce of over 33,000 and annual revenues in excess of $36Bn (2019).

Woodhouse has enjoyed an excellent and continuous relationship with SABIC which began when they purchased the previous generation of our Decision Support Tools (DST)– since then, the Woodhouse tools have become an integral part of the process for developing optimum investment plans across their global plants and facilities in the Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, United States and Saudi Arabia.

Petrokemya, an affiliate of SABIC (also based in Saudi Arabia) invited Woodhouse to assist with a particularly challenging objective to optimize the turnaround strategy for their entire facility comprising six plants and utility installations. Petrokemya contacted Woodhouse following a completed study in 2018 for a neighboring affiliate, where a study concluded that their gas plant could safely extend shutdown and lengthier turnaround intervals to 3 and 6 years respectively, generating multi-million-dollar annual benefits from higher throughput, and lower maintenance costs.

Petrokemya engaged Woodhouse to work with their maintenance, operations, and plant turnaround teams to:

  • Determine optimum individual plant turnarounds for their ethylene dichloride (EDC), ethylene bis-stearamide (EBS) 1 and 2, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), ethylene, salt abstraction and utilities plants.
  • Through blending and bundling of maintenance activities across the individual plants, develop the optimal program for the facility-wide complex turnarounds.
  • Assess options for the next complex facility shutdown by comparing a 2020 v 2021 strategy.
  • Identify bottlenecks and asset life issues preventing longer turnaround intervals and scope the required upgrades to enable intervals to be lengthened.
Activity Description
  • Established a project team of 80 staff from Petrokemya and Woodhouse, deployed the full suite of Woodhouse Decision Support Tools™ which were instrumental in developing optimum strategies for each plant, as well as the complex facility-wide strategy.
  • Provided training for all project staff in value-based optimal decision making and the use of the Woodhouse DST™s
  • Facilitated 45 workshops in 8 weeks to create a 538-page report detailing the optimized complex turnaround strategy for the entire facility
Contract Project Outcomes

All plants could be economically debottlenecked to extend intervals by 1 year, with an estimated US$40M of benefit, comprising a combination of additional plant availability over a 10-year period, plus lower maintenance costs when plants are shut down.

Lost production days, as a result of implementing recommendations, were reduced by 17%.

Identified requirements for an upgrade to the reactors and regenerators within the MTBE plant, which was critical to extending the intervals by one year for the whole facility.

All plants had asset life cycle issues where equipment is operated beyond their economic life, resulting in shorter shutdown intervals, longer downtime durations leading to reduced plant output. A recommendation was provided to continue DST™ studies to assess asset life cycle assessments for critical assets.

Woodhouse is currently in discussions to provide support for the next phase, which will enable the facility shutdown intervals to be extended further.

The Woodhouse Partnership would be delighted to show you how the SALVO process and Decision Support Tools™ can be implemented to benefit your business, contact us now for a free initial consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.

As we have completed the final report and final deliverable from this project, I would like to extend my personal appreciation to you for the extraordinary efforts you put to make today’s meeting a true success. It was quite a long journey, but you guys made it look like an easy one.

Essam Mousa
Petrokemya Project Manager, Petrokemya, Saudi Arabia

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John Woodhouse

With 30 years’ experience in utilities, oil & gas, transport and other sectors, John is one of the most widely known experts in integrated asset management projects for some of the largest companies in the world.

John is a Founder and Life Fellow of the IAM; he has written 4 books, chaired the development of BSI PAS55 and represents the UK on the ISO55000 committee.

He also led the international MACRO and SALVO collaboration projects in optimised asset management decision-making.

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