Is Construction Completion the Endgame of the Project?

By Amr Eltablawi 

Significant efforts and hours are spent reaching construction completion milestones; a fully erected plant journey begins with the techno-economic feasibility study, FEED, manufacturing and purchasing to reach the construction completion milestone. 

However, this is not the endgame for all stakeholders. Production is! Not only production but meeting the production market supply windows within project budget is the endgame for many more stakeholders.

Starting the plant on time and within the allocated budget is a major challenge, especially when commissioning can take up to 50 percent of the project lifecycle. Many risks and unforeseen challenges arise during plant start-ups. 

This impedes handover to operation, and intensive work hours and expertise are utilized during the commissioning phase. Plants can be under commissioning for a year and not be completely handed over to operations due to open punch lists or pending snag list items. 

Let’s face it – for most contractors and owner operators, completions and commissioning are afterthoughts.

Not surprisingly, poor handover processes play a significant role in this struggle to deliver projects on time and within budget. Handover, or the lack of it, continues to generate unexpected costs and delays, resulting in inefficient operations and safety risks. 

According to a report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, old school processes, outdated technology and inadequate interoperability result in $15.8 billion losses annually.

The financial losses due to prolonged start-ups and poor data management are yet another burden for asset owner operators to bear. A recent study by the ARC Advisory Group found that inefficient, incomplete capital project information can add more than 1 percent to an organization’s total capital project costs.  

Furthermore, uncontrolled start-ups have an impact on plant operation reliability and the maintenance shutdown window. Cost of ownership increases significantly due to poor handover. 
Improvements can be made! Advanced Work Packaging (AWP) and workface planning facilitate a much-improved planning process that supports the path of construction into seamless transition to confident start-up.  

Field execution is a dynamic and ever-changing environment; the Confident Startup methodology  with Intergraph Smart® Completions is an execution solution. Key features to maximize efficiency include: 

  • Integration with engineering and scheduling systems for scope creation
  • Automation process for building work and inspection packages 
  • Mobility to optimize information expediency to and from the field
  • Automated project-building capabilities for consistency and addressing economies of scale
  • Real-time progress through the connected worker
  • Automation of handover packages 
  • Access to Information across multiple systems (i.e., EDMS)
  • Built in controls for integrity assurance
  • Flexible reporting of status in multiple context at multiple layers
  • Ergonomically friendly mobility that provides real-time data accessibility, progress updates and sign-off mechanism
  • Improve worker effectiveness and safety, as well as daily workflow and operations reliability
  • Workforce effectiveness, process efficiency and prompt time to market 

At Hexagon PPM, we provide an enhanced end-to-end solution for project delivery, from design, through fabrication, construction, and commissioning, to maintenance and operation. With our solutions, offshore operators can go through all the steps through planning, execution, information control, project compliance and turnover. Overall, our information management solutions streamline the process and provide progress viability, project governance, and control to our customers enabling them to reach their goals as planned.

Contact me if you want to have a follow-up discussion on our Confident Startup methodology.


Amr Eltablawi

Amr Eltablawi

Amr Eltablawi is the business development director for Hexagon PPM's digital transformation, commissioning and plant turnaround efforts for the Europe, Middle East, India and Africa region. Find him on LinkedIn.