Power Plant Turnaround Management: Science or Art?

PMI Karachi Pakistan Chapter

Naveed is an Outage Planning Engineer at Pakistan's leading IPP Company. He has been associated with the Energy sector for nine years, with experience in maintenance and projects.

Energy is one of the most basic requirements in today’s world. Dependence on energy—specifically electrical energy—has increased dramatically in the 20th century. In the world we live in, practically everything runs on electricity.

Power plants play an important role in fulfilling the ever-increasing demand of electricity; but like any machine, they require maintenance. This maintenance is scheduled yearly on a regular frequency and is often categorized into minor and major maintenance termed as “turnaround” or “outages.” These turnarounds are aimed at maintaining and/or increasing the reliability, availability and efficiency of the plant. Outages are comprised of regular maintenance scope and projects as well.

The question many people have is on how to manage outages. Should they be treated as a project or a process? The key to a successful outage is a detailed preparation plan followed by smart monitoring of critical parameters.

In the initiating phase, an outage manager deals with the purpose of that particular outage, specifying issues like resolving the steam leakage in turbine or improving the boiler heat rate to the designed rating. With the objective defined and approved by management, the outage team then starts working on the other specifics like duration, schedule and resources required. All of this is covered in the…

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