Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Five Phases of Plant Turnarounds

Turnarounds for refineries and manufacturing plants can be very costly. Expensive equipment and extra manpower are necessary to conduct the various repairs, inspections, and maintenance. Furthermore, shutdowns tend to last a few weeks, halting production and therefore decreasing revenue.

Due to the potential consequences that comes with a turnaround, it is vital for the management team to be able to execute the following phases properly and efficiently:

Developing a Strategy

Turnarounds are planned months, even years in advance. Developing a good strategy and figuring out the goals needed to be achieved during the shutdown will help cut down costs and time. 

Preparing Schedules and Logistics

Details can make or break a project. Tasks such as coordinating each team’s responsibilities, overseeing schedules, and contacting vendors that provide necessities like emergency fuel services should be ironed out before the next phase.

Carrying Out the Plan’s Execution

To carry out the plan successfully, the schedule must be updated daily to ensure that all tasks are completed on time and all employees remain in the loop in case of changes.

Return to Production

After testing is finished, the equipment is inspected and used by operations personnel before being given the final seal of approval.


The final phase requires a thorough review of the budget spent and as well as the assessment of strengths and weaknesses found in each area. The information and experience gathered from the evaluation process can be used to create a more effective strategy and therefore improve future turnarounds.


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