A successful industrial project should be user-friendly. It should not only combine design excellence and mechanical integrity, and therefore permit very safe and reliable operation, but it should also have the highest feedstock and energy efficiency possible, leading to the most effective life-cycle cost.
This series of articles will highlight the steps to be taken from the start of the basic conceptual design through detailed engineering, procurement, construction, to precommissioning and start up, initial operation, beneficial production and performance acceptance. It will discuss how to select the technology at the project’s beginning, keeping in view safety, reliability, operability, and maintainability issues. In summary, this series tries to be user-friendly, and is tailored to give readers an overview of an industrial project.
This series is designed to help all members involved in the projects development and management and those who make basic decisions on plant design. The contents are organized to be comprehensive, but brief and clear, and are based on accounts of actual experience and practices. The series will discuss well-accepted industrial practices for industrial project, and also offers general guidelines and potential solutions to some of the more common project issues related to industrial projects.
The reader can benefit more if he aims to collect and integrate the content of this series of articles with his knowledge of petrochemical projects, get more insights of the critical phases in industrial projects, and hopefully reach more in-depth understanding of importance of the project integration phases of any project.
Industrial Project Phases
The article will describe the steps from the basic design of an industrial plant to its start–up. It also presents, in brief the guidelines, an overview of the activities and the challenges faced in each phase of the entire project. The content often comes from actual experience and lessons learned in industrial projects execution and industrial plant operation.
Prior to discussing the phases involved in any project, it is important to review the differences between various contract approaches. It also helps to understand the roles and responsibilities of the project management contractor or consultant, who is often involved in modern-day projects.
The creation of a contract for most industrial projects is based on threecommon approaches:
(1) Lump-Sum-Turn-Key (LSTK) approach, (2) Reimbursable-Cost approach, or (3) Lump Sum (LS) quotation by the contractor covering services of engineering, procurement, technical support, and construction management with a potential conversion to LSTK in a predefined time during the project course.
Most common is the Lump-Sum-Turn-Key (LSTK) approach, which requires familiarity in a wide range of fields. The contractor should demonstrate extensive familiarity in at least the basic projects related to commissioning of an industrial plant and should have recently completed a LSTK contract relevant to an industrial plant especially for all the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) phases of the project.
Note: It is not the intent for this article to explain the above contract approaches or contractual schemes in details and it would be discussed in separate articles later.
Role of a Project Management Contractor (PMC)
Some clients assign a project management contractor (PMC). Depending on the agreement or contract between the client and PMC, the scope of the role of PMC is defined as per the agreement. The PMC is generally selected to facilitate and provide management and engineering support. The PMC’s work often includes initial front-end engineering and design to compile project specifications, coordination with technology licensors and contractors, evaluation of the contractors’ bids, and nomination of key personnel to work with the client in the EPC phases of the project until project completion and close-out.
In general, the industrial project schedule involves the following key phases that proceed sequentially with some parallel activities:
Phase I: Technology/contractor Selection Phase II: Engineering/Procurement Phase III: Construction Phase IV: Commissioning and Start up Phase V: Performance Test & Project Close-out
The next articles will give a brief overview of each phase with some details on the non-technical aspects (execution and commercial) so that the reader can have a clear picture of the industrial project from design to completion, highlighting essential technical aspects and guidelines. It is assumed that the project execution is usually a well-known and common procedure for all companies. On the other hand, the technical aspects including recommended design and operation guidelines are more specific and more details are dealt with in other articles of this series.