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Engineering Consultancy : Feasibility / Conceptual Studies & Due Diligence

RB Plant examines the high-level options available and supports clients regarding which options to progress. We have technical and commercial expertise in guiding clients to the solution that fits their business and we are influencial in achieving board level sanctioning.

Why should businesses invest in this area?

  • This initial phase makes up a very small percent of overall project costs yet plays a vital role in ensuring project success.
  • This is not an additive project cost but rather an integral part of the overall project lifecycle cost
  • Cutting corners on or skipping this phase becomes a false economy for example where the risk of unsuitable and/or incompatible equipment can result in major unforeseen costs which negate the perceived savings at the start of the project.
  • Existing cost of problems can be quantified to decide whether worth pursuing – for example:
    • Lack of production rate to satisfy market demand.
    • Excessive operating costs, e.g. energy and utility usage.
    • Plant reliability causing frequent shutdowns and lost production.
    • Inadequate COMAH Basis of Safety which could lead to major incident.
  • Identify option(s) that:
    • Are most technically viable.
    • Give best commercial return.
    • Are closely aligned with business strategy/drivers.
    • Achieve regulatory compliance.

Why RB Plant?

We combine decades of experience with creative ideas to help clients succeed in this area. Our systematic and proven process is based on databases which contain:

  • Previous and recent cost data – used to prepare CAPEX estimates from +/-50 to 10%.
  • Impartially assessed suppliers for a wide range of technologies.
  • Industry best practice.
  • Safety standards.

Avoiding the need to reinvent the wheel, our clients receive cost-effective and practical solutions within short timescales.

We engage all relevant stakeholders within client teams (operations, engineering, project management and board level) to ensure that all parties input into this process.

Examples of where we’ve carried out feasibility studies:

  • Maximising process yields.
  • Reducing batch times.
  • Reducing energy and utility costs.
  • Reducing or eliminating shutdown periods.
  • Heat integration and pinch technology.
  • Heat recovery using horizon scanning to earmark and assess potential options.
  • Process plant reconfiguration, expansion, contraction or modification.
  • Storage, transport and distribution of hazardous materials including COSHH.
  • Minimising waste disposal costs.
  • Minimising environmental impact including Best Available Technique (BAT).
  • Optimisation, tuning and reconfiguration of control and instrumented systems.

What we will do?

We will carry out the following essential activities:

  • Preliminary scoping of prospective options.
  • Conceptual Process design with process description.
  • P&ID and PFD development.
  • HAZID/HAZOP studies and technical risk analysis.
  • Equipment schedule of main plant items.
  • Identification of long-lead items to achieve a high level cost estimate (typically +/- 30-> 50%) and check lead times during construction phase
  • Budgetary cost estimates.
  • Project plan and programme estimates with interdependencies.
  • Conclusion as to which option(s) should progress to the detailed design phase.

GAP Analysis

Projects can stall for several reasons. It may be due to limited in-house resources, or the result of engaging external consultancies unable to provide 100% of the expertise required to conclude the project successfully.

Understandably, having already invested time and money, businesses are keen to salvage value from work already carried out rather than start again – sometimes after several months of work showing negligible progress.

RB Plant have provided a GAP analysis for clients who are in such a position and need to progress to the next stage gate. Challenges include:

  • Concept design that may not fulfil all safety, technical and environmental criteria.
  • CAPEX sanctioning case not robust enough to win over client executive teams.
  • Design for new process complete but no coherent plan as to how to interface with existing plant.

We work constructively with incumbent designers to identify which aspects of pre-work can be taken forward and any shortfalls which could prevent progression to the next stage. The client is able take their project to the next level and recover value from any money invested prior to RB Plant’s involvement.