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Case Study

Improving sustaining capital efficiency and effectiveness


Addressing brownfield portfolio governance leads to 300% increase in measured productivity

The Situation  

A mature refinery had several overlapping concerns, the most urgent of which was the loss of their capital program manager to a health emergency. Broader issues included declining productivity, depth, and capacity amongst the staff and contractors who developed and delivered sustaining project work at the site.  

Our Approach  

We started by embedding an experienced sustaining capital manager on short notice to develop that first year’s budget, then worked alongside the client at all levels of the refinery organization to improve capital effectiveness and ensure that the refinery got the right asset improvements at the right times.  

We collaboratively challenged and improved the client’s existing approaches to governance, goal setting, KPIs and stewardships, project gated processes, and resource planning in relation to sustaining capital work.  

Success in this work was entirely collaborative, based on the quality of the relationships amongst leaders at both the refinery and the WorleyParsons heritage company involved.  

Value Delivered 

Measured productivity went up by about 300%.  Actual productivity more than doubled…  As we dug into where the time and money had been going, we found a kind of “underground economy” that included unapproved work and value-added work that was not tracked.  

We increased the capacity to do sustaining work five-fold, freeing up resources both to support major projects for low-sulfur products and to catch up with the growing backlog of refinery sustaining work that had been postponed for cash management purposes.