SABIC Geleen realize asset replacement efficiencies in a challenging year

An ambitious plan called for the project to be completed within a 2-month deadline but midway through the project the COVID-19 lockdown came into force.

SABIC, once again, called upon the Woodhouse Partnership to assist with an asset Lifecycle Decision Making Process with their team in the Netherlands. An ambitious plan called for the project to be completed within a 2-month deadline but midway through the project the COVID-19 lockdown came into force. This meant that the face-to-face workshop approach had to be abandoned, as the team changed over to remote working. The team found remote working extraordinarily successful but far more intensive than face-to-face working. For one thing even with video facilities, it is impossible to read the body languages which are often so important when facilitating the workshops. The cohesion of the team which had occurred during the face-to-face workshops was an advantage, but the conclusion was that the project could not have been completed without a cross-function team.

Nevertheless out of the 14 end-of-life asset replacement decisions.

  • 3 projects could be deferred by 3 or more years with a cost saving of ~€500K
  • 6 projects needed funding on short notice to remediate a total risk of ~€6M if the planned interventions were delayed
  • 4 projects were identified for 1 year; deferrals increased the asset life cycle cost by ~€800K with one year delay


With this project, it has been proven that by bringing together the right people with in-depth knowledge on different domains, the team can achieve great results in terms of both quality and time. The Woodhouse Partnership was able to ask the right questions to quantify the information of the SABIC team members in such a way that earlier more qualitative risk assessments and capital investment motivations were transferred, with the support of Decision Support Tool (DST) software, to well-motivated and transparent business cases. As a direct result, SABIC Geleen was able – and confident – in the reprioritization of the capital program. Several projects were postponed, but others were pulled forward.

On the other hand, the organization had learned also from The Woodhouse Partnership how for more complex projects, qualitative information can be transferred to quantitative statements with ranges of uncertainty, to develop business cases that can even change in time. An approach that was innovative but highly appreciated by all stakeholders.

The best example was the motivation of a multi-year programme. Intangible risks on mainly safety and environment were monetized and this progressing in time. It enabled SABIC Geleen to visualize the (cumulative) risks over time, with boundaries of low and high confidence, which made the motivation of sticking to the multi-year plan transparent and irrefutable.

Read the Sabic Geleen case study here


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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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