The first day of TINC Europe 2017 has officially come to a close. Here’s a look pack at the thought-provoking proceedings.

Mr. Alkemade—AP-Networks Managing Director, EMEA—welcomed attendees to the 5th annual TINC Europe conference. Following instructions on safety and conference proceedings from moderator and AP-Networks Senior Consultant Mr. Pillay, it was time to kick things off.

We were excited to have Mr. J. Vervaet—Technical Process Owner, Maintenance and Turnarounds with YARA Belgium NV/SA—as this year’s Keynote Speaker. Mr. Vervaet defined the need for change within YARA, and identified the improvement areas the company is targeting. While the company is devoting time and attention to their turnaround tools and processes, their major focus is on people as the main driver for change. The company has already completed Phase 1 of their improvement plan, which focused on putting the skills and mechanisms in place that are vital to improvement. Phase 2 is underway now, centering on assurance, corporate governance, and the corporate functions required to support local organizations. To finish, Mr. Vervaet provided attendees with a peek behind the curtain at what comes after Phase 2: the Yara Turnaround Competence Center.

TINC provides an opportunity to dive into the AP-Networks Turnaround Database to provide benchmarks and trends from throughout industry. Senior Consultant Mr. De Weert delivered the first benchmarking presentation, which focused on Turnaround Practices. After providing an overview of the data contained within the database, he painted a clear picture for attendees of the difference between those leading and those following when it comes to downstream and upstream turnaround performance. Two of the biggest differentiators between the companies at the front of the pack and those further back were the effectiveness of their steering teams and how well they handled capital project integration.

With their heads full from Mr. De Weert’s presentation, attendees had an opportunity to process and compare notes with their peers during a well-deserved coffee break. Then it was back for Round 2 with Senior Consultant Mr. Lawrence, whose benchmarking presentation focused on Turnaround Outcomes. Mr. Lawrence broke down Industry performance trends for five turnaround outcome metrics: Safety, Environmental, Operability, Cost and Schedule Competitiveness, and Cost and Schedule Predictability. Mr. Lawrence’s analysis produced two key findings: 1) There is a large gap between top and bottom quartile performers across all metrics, and 2) There is a clear relationship between readiness and outcomes.  Mr. Lawrence also pointed out that safety is the only turnaround outcome metric to show continuous improvement year after year.

Mr. Blamphin—Turnaround Manager of Essar Oil UK—came to the stage next to discuss how the company maintains their outstanding safety track record, emphasizing the connection between values and safe behavior. Essar Oil UK’s Stanlow refinery received the 2016 Order of Distinction for Occupational Health and Safety by RoSPA, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, an acknowledgement that the importance of safety is well-ingrained in the refinery staff. But how do you communicate this value to an itinerant workforce of more than 2,500 people? According to Mr. Blamphin: As an organization, you need to demonstrate that safety is the company’s number one priority. To do this, it is vital to have Senior Management attendance at inductions, visible leadership at the refinery, consistent interventions, and tangible consequences. Most importantly, as Turnaround Manager, you need to ensure that you understand the needs of the Plant Manager as to the condition and level of completeness of the scope. Lastly: Check and check again; don’t assume that things have been done correctly.

In general, it can be said that each piece of scope added to a turnaround introduces added risk to the turnaround objectives. Hence, removing scope reduces risk. Mr. Bisset—Turnaround (TAR) Team Lead from Chevron Upstream Europe—explained how Risk Based Scope Selection has contributed to improving the turnaround performance of Chevron’s upstream assets. Following feedback from benchmarks and independent turnaround assessments, a process was put in place to review and rank proposed turnaround work scope utilizing a Corporate Risk Matrix. Benefits from this approach include a consistent, objective approach applicable to all teams and disciplines, and increased plan predictability. However, in order to be successful, the involvement of the Technical Authority (or an SME) is vital. The results are clear for Chevron: Recent turnarounds were executed ahead of plan, injury free, and with no spill-to-sea. The fit-for-purpose process and tools have achieved cost savings and offshore efficiencies.

The final slot of the agenda was held by AP-Networks Senior Consultant Mr. Van Roij, who addressed the key characteristic of a top quartile performing organization: Leveraging people, processes, and tools to ensure turnaround success. To achieve this balance, an effective steering team is essential. Mr. Van Roij discussed AP-Networks’ Steering Team Effectiveness Index, which was introduced last year during TINC Europe 2016, and showed the amount of money that is on the table for effective steering teams.

It was a day jam-packed with great discussion about shutdowns and turnarounds, and we’re looking forward to diving back into everything tomorrow. In the meantime, attendees are preparing to unwind during an evening cruise along the wonderful canals of Amsterdam, followed by dinner at the REM Eiland Restaurant, a historical icon in Dutch TV history—and a former offshore platform!