Valero, Covestro & Mexichem Discuss Turnaround Execution Strategies 2017-20

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Petrochemical Update released a new whitepaper today - Turnaround Execution Strategies 2017-20, with contributors from energy majors Valero, Covestro and Mexichem. The whitepaper provides crucial insight for the downstream turnaround industry, with post-turnaround analysis in to unexpected hurdles, failures and successes which will help turnaround teams avoid common pitfalls on future projects.

Refinery and petrochemical turnarounds and shutdowns are expensive and complex events. An opportunity to greatly increase a company’s shareholder value, or wreak havoc in earnings is a risk associated with every turnaround. Each day of downtime means lost revenue, and any delay adds to production losses.

“According to data from Oracle, 70% of planned shutdowns and turnarounds fail to restart on time or on budget.” says Karla Sharp, senior director – turnarounds & maintenance at Petrochemical Update. “Experts generally agree that this is a result of issues that arise during the execution phase, rather than being planning-related. With more and more emphasis on bringing project costs down, the pressure is on for turnaround teams to stamp out those common complications which can result in costly delays.”

In order for a turnaround team to strategize and exercise continual improvement they must rely on experience and the benefit of hindsight – something that brings about its own challenges when we consider that turnarounds typically occur once every three to five years, and sometimes as little as every seven years. “Even veterans may have only worked through three or four turnarounds,” Nikki Bishop, director of the global turnaround program at Emerson Process Management said. “This leaves little in the way of collective experience of how to plan and keep these complex projects moving effectively.”

Tommy Trosclair, turnaround manager at Mexichem agreed, stating that “The biggest challenges turnaround teams face are a limited number of plant resources, limited qualified craftsmen, and unqualified planner/schedulers,”

In light of the above, this report analyses the challenges most detrimental to project success and provides strategies for overcoming them via the following:

  •     Adopting new informational technologies to plan and manage a turnaround event;
  •     Vendor selection and management, quality and safety strategies to keep the project safe, on time and on budget; and
  •     Mitigating risk and reducing discovery work through early planning and inspections

To download the full report, with insight from Valero, Mexichem, Covestro and Emerson Process Management, simply visit

Please contact Karla Sharp using the details below with any questions or feedback.

Karla Michelle Sharp
Senior Director – Turnarounds & Maintenance
Petrochemical Update
T: +44 (0)20 7422 4321 (UK Office)                            
USA Toll Free: 1800-814-3459 ext. 4321
E: karla(at)petchemupdate(dot)com

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Karla Sharp
since: 11/2014
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