Turnaround Project Planning Primer


The oil refining and petrochemical processing industries have their own nomenclature for maintenance projects. For the purposes of this tutorial, "turnaround" is intended to encompass all types of industrial projects for existing process plants including I&Ts (Inspection & Testing), shutdowns, emergency outages, debottlenecking projects, revamps, catalyst regeneration, etc. where an operating plant must be shut down until the work is completed and then restarted - thus "turning around" the unit/plant.

Turnaround project planning and scheduling is an important function that has a direct and dramatic impact on maintenance costs and bottom line profitability of a process plant. Maintenance costs are the result of the expenditure of manpower, equipment and materials.

Keep manpower and equipment usage efficient, and you will control your turnaround costs. Through judicious planning and scheduling, a maintenance planner / scheduler can help his organization save on manpower costs, ensure the shortest possible downtime, and achieve the most efficient use of equipment.

The secret to achieving the most efficient plan is to remove all wasted motion, all unnecessary movements or transports, and minimize crew and equipment redeployment.

This handbook was prepared to help those whose responsibilities include the planning and scheduling of process plant turnarounds. We have developed a practical approach based on tried and proven procedures using our own project management software, although the concepts described herein are applicable regardless of the software package you use.

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The Turnaround Project Planning Primer is an abridged version of the STO Planning Handbook.

For further reading, we also recommend Joel Levitt’s Managing Maintenance Shutdowns and Outages.