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What Makes A Successful Plant Shutdown?

Advanced Shutdown Turnaround and Start-Up

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes


Advanced Shutdown Turnaround and Start-Up

Advanced Shutdown Turnaround and Start-Up


Effective planning and execution of shutdowns and turnarounds are major tasks during a plant’s life cycle. It is an important aspect of plant maintenance that helps improve the life expectancy of assets, to maintain inventory levels and reduce loss of revenue. Shutdowns are costly because they are labour and material-intensive. Hence, it is key that shutdowns are carried out quickly and effectively to minimize downtime and any negative business impacts.


Successful organisations have a comprehensive model that outlines all the key phases of a shutdown management plan. This provides a step-by-step guide for the shutdown to be carried out efficiently. For example, having defined roles with responsibilities throughout each step in the process.


The key steps to a successful plant shutdown are:

  • Have a long-term strategy in place
  • Assign a shutdown team
  • Complete work scope definition
  • Setting appropriate timelines
  • Detailed shutdown plan
  • Consolidating feedback  

Having a long-term strategy in place
The development of long-term shutdown maintenance strategy acts as a guide for management to set shorter-term goals and specific shutdown objectives.

Assign a shutdown team
A successful shutdown and turnaround is led by a team who is focused to manage the overall shutdown. They will be involved in coordinating the overall shutdown phase, including the managing the budget, schedule and allocation of resources throughout the shutdown.

Complete work scope definition
Establish a detailed work identification and work scope development process that covers all departments and functions involved to account for all activities undertaken that are critical to the success of the shutdown.

Setting appropriate timelines
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.

Detailed shutdown plan
In addition to the steps and processes required of the shutdown plan, it is also crucial to include all necessary pre and post-shutdown activities for maintenance, operations and engineering departments. It also includes the continuous monitoring of progress against the timeline to aid in the early identification of potential problems.

Consolidating feedback
Lastly, a good strategy allows for the gathering of feedback and the use of that feedback to improve the process.


It is best practice to include a 10% contingency into the plan, from both a budgetary and timing perspective, to cater for any unplanned work or situations. The common keys to success are communications between all groups, the shutdown affects, having a long-range plan for the maintenance of the facility and having a management process that details the steps and activities necessary for the effective completion of the shutdown. A well-defined work process clearly describes the timeline, scope, resources and stages of a successful plant shutdown and turnaround. Organisations that complete turnarounds on time, on budget, and without surprises invariably have a defined work process and adhere to it.


Advanced Shutdown Turnaround and Start-Up is a 3-day training course held from 2 – 4 December 2019 (Singapore), 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.  


Advanced Shutdown Turnaround and Start-Up


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