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Locations in Europe

Facility: A Large Petroleum Refinery

This very large refinery was located on the coast. It was a 'swing' refinery, processing several types of crude oil. Because it had many process plants, there were a number of plant shutdowns every year. In this facility, they did a number of things very well, and others learned from them. Staff were disciplined and generally performed competently. Their technical knowledge base was excellent, but typical large facility silos had developed, leading to indifferent business performance. In benchmarking studies, they came out about average.

The refinery was located in an industrial belt, along with a number of other large chemical plants, refineries, and manufacturing facilities. All the companies used contractors extensively for shutdown work. Most of the shutdowns were scheduled in the April-October period, avoiding the cold weather as far as possible. Contractor manpower requirements peaked significantly during these periods. Inter-company agreements were in place to minimize bunching, which could result in dilution of skills.

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