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PSN outlines steps to success for project delivery

Stakeholder collaboration and investment at the front end of a project is key to developing creative, safe, cost effective and nimble solutions in brownfield* environments – that was the message delivered by oil services company PSN at APPEA earlier ihis week.

PSN delivered a technical paper at Australia’s oil and gas conference to discuss the importance of a partnership approach to decision making and explain why investment at the critical performance phase, for example, planning phase, of a project can reduce overall engineering costs, improve safety and maintain operability on an asset.

The paper titled: ‘Successful project delivery in complex brownfield environments’ was delivered by Andrew Stewart, Retrofit Delivery Manager for PSN Australia and a 2010 recipient of the Australian Financial Review (AFR) Boss Young Executives of the Year award.

He said: “Taking a holistic approach to the brownfield project lifecycle by investing in the critical performance period will result in a robust and generally successful execution, which translates to bottom line safety, cost and schedule improvements.

“Safety performance is the ultimate test for brownfield business performance. If you’re justifying cost and schedule overruns within individual projects, you’re not driving health and safety improvements throughout the design and construction phases.

“This concept is supported by a global review undertaken by IPA on cost, profit and risk. It found that projects with a poor or worse front end loading index had a 60% chance of having major operability problems. This is consistent from a health and safety perspective too; a European study concluded that 60% of fatal accidents resulted in part from decisions made before site work began.

“The ability to influence the outcome is therefore greatest at the front end of a project. An experienced brownfield team will be cognisant of the ‘critical performance period’ and apply focus and discipline to the initial project activities.

The PSN paper also discussed in detail the most common on-site challenges faced in a brownfield environment, mainly health and safety, access and space and the interface with operations teams.
Andrew concluded: “The aim in a brownfield project delivery environment is to secure the total involvement of the operations team while providing zero disruption to ongoing activities; the project does after all belong to the operations team, it’s not something being done to them.

“It sounds simple but space, access and overall situational awareness on any brownfield project, especially a modification job can also mean the difference between success and failure.”

PSN is a global provider of engineering, construction, operations, maintenance, project management and hook up and commissioning services, primarily to the oil and gas sector. These services optimise the operational performance and extend the field life of customers’ assets.

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