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RETROFITTING: HOW TO HAVE SUCCESSFUL REVAMPS INSTEAD OF FAILED PROJECTS

Andrew W. Sloley

VECO USA, Inc. (current affiliation)
1313 Bay St
Bellingham, WA 98229 360-676-1500

Published in
Hydrocarbon Online
19 February 2001

Abstract copyright Andrew W. Sloley
2001
All rights reserved

Retrofitting a plant is often seen as an attractive investment option compared to a new plant. Implementing new technology ‘creeps’ the plant capabilities at minimum cost. Plant debottlenecking for incremental capacity or product quality changes costs less than a new plant. While generally true, care must be taken. Some plants are all neck and no bottle. Which is your plant?

Historically, most project and design techniques have focused on new plants. Even with new construction, performance has been poor. Surveys have shown that new construction meets success criteria in less than 20 percent of capital projects. Experience with retrofits shows an even lower success rate. Lack of success on previous retrofits is often a major reason operating plants are reluctant to proceed with changes. Unforeseen consequences of projects can eliminate years of profits. How can a plant assure a successful revamp instead of a failed project?

Successful revamps require many different elements. Nevertheless, starting on the right path at the beginning tremendously improves success rates. The two starting elements are (1) building the right revamp team and (2) understanding current operation.

4 pages.
Electronic version available in Adobe Acrobat PDF format file 093.PDF 57k.

Request paper 093.

This page updated 19 January 2005.
© 2005 Andrew W. Sloley. All rights reserved.