CASE STUDY: Partnering with AP-Networks leads to predictable and competitive STO outcomes

By Daniel Phan, Regional Manager, Asset Performance Networks, Asia Pacific Pte Ltd

Shutdowns, Turnarounds and Outages (STO) are the periodic planned events of a facility to perform maintenance work and to install new capital projects. They impact the bottom line through the cost of the event, the lost revenue due to the facility being offline, and the potential harm to plant reliability if the turnaround performed poorly—not to mention significant safety and environmental risks.

Industry Struggles to Deliver Predictable Outcomes
Through the years, and across multiple industries, STO events are increasing in size and complexity and there is a struggle to keep them within the planned targets. As seen in Figure 1, the Industry performance for STO has been especially poor with more than half of STO failed to achieve its targeted outcomes.

Figure 1: Data showing STO Performance

Case Study: A Large Refinery in Asia Pacific (APAC)
A large refiner’s facility in APAC executed a medium complexity turnaround in recent years that had highly variable turnaround outcomes. Although they did well in Environmental and Operability, their Safety, Cost and Schedule performance were mostly 3rd/4th Quartile and well below Industry average.

Key contributors to this outcome performance were:

  • Late deliverables in the planning process
  • Poor scope collection and definition process
  • Safety Plan approved late and not fully implemented
  • Lack of organisational alignment
  • Decon process not effective
  • Delays due to several late changes

Coming off this challenging turnaround, the Refinery Leadership searched for solutions to improve turnaround performance on their next similar sized turnaround the following year. Eventually the site implemented AP-Network’s proprietary NaviTrack within the (TAN). This was implemented in conjunction with a comprehensive AP-Network’s Turnaround Assist Program (T-AP) Assurance Reviews. The system was deployed on the next turnaround which encompasses over 150,000 Direct Field Labour Hours and over 500 peak labour on site.

The Solution: NaviTrackTM
NaviTrack is a turnaround work process deployment tool based on industry best practice. It allows the turnaround team to establish milestones to guide efficient, timely and consistent turnaround scope development and execution (see Figure 2). NaviTrack aligns objectives and participation of all turnaround stakeholders and is used as a guide for turnaround planning and execution to consistently achieve top quartile performance. Institutionalised by global enterprises, NaviTrack has become an integral part of how projects and turnarounds are planned and executed.

Figure 2: AP-Networks’s NaviTrack – Turnaround Dashboard

The Results: Improved Performance in One Year – From 3rd/4th Quartile to 1st/2nd Quartile
After deployment, it was evident from our T-AP Assurance Reviews that as planning progressed, the readiness of the more recent turnaround improved. In a short period of time, the site had improved the turnaround outcomes from 3rd/4th Quartile from the last event (blue markers) to 1st/2nd Quartile in their subsequent event (green markers) as illustrated in Figure 3.

Figure 3: Improved Performance after implementing NaviTrack

Conclusion: Readiness is Key to Better Turnaround Outcomes
Here’s what happened. Utilising NaviTrack, the turnaround team was in compliance with most of the planning milestones and had completed a majority of the “Key Deliverables” within the stipulated timeframe. This drives better readiness. Along with better readiness, team alignment also improved, with increased visibility to the Refinery Leadership.

So why is Turnaround Readiness important? This is because our data in Figure 4 strongly shows that a high level of readiness not only correlates with better cost and schedule predictability, it also correlates with better cost and schedule competitiveness compared to similar turnarounds in the Industry.

This is a case where the right team, armed with the right tools and insight, can improve their Turnaround Readiness, which resulted in predictable and competitive turnaround outcomes.

Figure 4: Readiness Improves Turnaround Cost and Schedule Outcomes


Daniel Phan is currently a Regional Manager with Asset Performance Networks Asia Pacific (AP-Networks) in Singapore. He has more than 20 years of experience in plant STO and project management consultancy in the oil & gas, petrochemical, maritime industries.

The Turnaround Network (TAN), found at, is the world’s most innovative software toolset for turnaround planning and execution. The portal houses an array of world class tools (including NaviTrackTM) that drive strategic and tactical decision-making, and bring best practices to the desktop of every project and turnaround professional across the enterprise.

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