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10 Crucial Steps to Achieve A Successful Plant Turnaround

Plant Turnaround

Plant Turnaround


Effective planning and execution of shutdowns and turnarounds is essential to maintain inventory levels and reduce loss of revenue for the oil and gas industry, particularly if improper maintenance leads to an unplanned shutdown. Unplanned shutdowns impacts heavily on the company operating the facility. Problems commonly encountered in shutdown execution include:

  • Lack of an integrated management strategy;
  • Unclear definition of work responsibilities.;
  • Incomplete work scope definition;
  • Ineffective planning effort;
  • Uncoordinated procurement of shutdown materials; and
  • Poor contractor control and communications.

Therefore it is essential that plants are able to manage shutdowns and turnarounds effectively and efficiently. Here are 10 crucial steps to a successful turnaround.

  1. Planning – A detailed, well-thought out plan is the first step to a successful plant turnaround. The plan should include clear items for when the shutdown will begin and end, what equipment will be removed, repaired or replaced, what maintenance and inspections will be performed. Ensure that there is adequate time for the detailed planning of all jobs included in the scope and to allow for the development of a detailed schedule for the shutdown.


  1. Budgeting –A shutdown consume an equivalent cost of a yearly maintenance budget in four to five weeks. To maximise the bottom line of a shutdown, it is important to be realistic about what it will cost and be ready for it.


  1. Hiring – If the business is looking to invest and partner with another who is an expert in shutdowns and turnarounds, it is important to “shop around” and find the best partner for your business, or someone who has knowledge and experience in your industry. The partner should also review, understand, and approve of the turnaround plan.


  1. Assignment – Once the plan is in place, it is time to assign who is responsible for what and establish their time frame. This includes both onsite and offsite personnel, such as appointing a turnaround manager to oversee the entire process. Proper roles are assigned to assist in the execution of the shutdown plan and all necessary pre- and post-shutdown activities for maintenance, operations and engineering and the continuous monitoring of progress against the schedule.


  1. Purchase –Any turnaround needs (i.e. materials or tools) must be sorted before any shutdown occurs. These should be ordered in advance and anticipate any demanding times in the industry.


  1. Removal –Once all materials are acquired and all are familiar with their roles, it is important to begin the shutdown by removing any unnecessary assets that will not be needed for the turnaround.


  1. Inspection –It is important to inspect all equipment not easily accessible or that plays a critical role during the inspection process to gauge what needs maintenance or repairs, as well as what is working to industry regulations.


  1. Repairs/Installation/Maintenance –Once inspections have confirmed what is to be repaired, installed, replaced, maintained it is important to begin this work as soon as possible, with the most difficult and time-consuming tasks taking the highest priority. This is since if an issue arises, it can be addressed as soon as possible.


  1. Quality Assurance and Quality Check –Once all the work is completed or in a staggering manner, all equipment that was worked on or returned after being removed should be inspected and tested again to ensure it is working as it is supposed to and that the work was successful.


  1. Restart– The shutdown ends when the operation, asset, unit, or plant is restored to normal (or improved) performance levels and has been confirmed by any regulatory agencies.


A shutdown is a major task that has a significant business impact. Shutdowns are expensive because they are labour and material-intensive and because they take productive capacity offline. It is imperative that shutdowns are carried out quickly and effectively to minimize negative business impacts.


Advanced Shutdown Turnaround and Start-Up is a 3-day training course held from 14 – 16 Nov 2018 (Kuala Lumpur), designed to improve your company’s approach to planning and scheduling through the provision of a framework for effective turnaround execution. The course provides a comprehensive knowledge base for turnarounds, demonstrates the latest planning techniques for turnarounds and highlights the operational check out and start-up requirements. The course is led by an expert with over 30 years of experience in the field of turnaround management. For more information, please visit us at or contact us at .


Interested to read other Oil & Gas articles? Click here: How Planning For Plant Turnarounds Ensures Success


Opus Kinetic believes that people are why organisations are successful, and giving people the knowledge to perform well at their job is integral for success. We pride ourselves as the premier provider of knowledge, offering acclaimed in-house trainings, and many others professional training courses spanning from various industries. Our training courses are well researched and updated with the latest industry trends. For more information on our professional training programs, visit us at .

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