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The challenges of shutdown management in the petrochemical refineries : a case study of PetroSA GTL Refinery.

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The aim of this research study was to identify and highlight the challenges experienced during the different phases of the shutdown or turnaround management processes in the petrochemical refineries. The data for the research, mainly through qualitative interview sessions and some quantitative comparison data, was obtained from PetroSA GTL Refinery as a case study. The research was subdivided into three areas: the planning, budgeting and shut execution processes. The qualitative interview sessions were conducted with managers and engineers who are directly involved with the shutdown management processes at PetroSA. The research identified the critical departments involved in the process, i.e. the shutdown team, operations, mechanical maintenance, inspection, projects, services etc., and selected respondents from these departments. Two senior managers from one of the large shutdown and turnaround contractors in South Africa were also included in the sample. The findings from the research highlighted interesting responses from the interview respondents. The challenges experienced in the various phases were discussed, with emphasis being placed on the planning, budgeting and shut execution phases of the process. The findings indicated that in order to be competitive in the petrochemical industry, a refinery must strive to achieve higher productivity from the field execution teams, as well as to incorporate proper cost control structures in the process. The research findings and recommendations are shown in chapters 4 and 5 of this report.


Thesis (MBA)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville, 2007.


Industrial management., Corporate reorganizations., Theses--Business administration.