Capital Project Success: Your Roadmap

by | Jan 19, 2021 | Capital Projects, Downstream Hydrocarbons

Jim Nyquist

Jim Nyquist

Chairman, Systems and Software-Emerson Automation Solutions

Refiner's Guide: Capital Project Success--Your RoadmapThe complexity of today’s capital projects is causing a widespread loss of value and confidence due to project overruns. Projects are larger, more technical, and running at a faster pace than ever before. Yet decades-old project methodologies can’t keep pace. And that means it is time to rethink capital projects and transform these outdated strategies with digital technologies, high-end expertise, and the power of automation.

When it comes to the current capital project environment, research and experience show that over the past 10 years, 65 percent of capital projects valued at over $1 billion have failed meaning they were either 25 percent over budget or 50 percent late.

Not only is valuable investment capital being wasted, but company performance is also damaged—which drags down company profitability, shareholder value, and the ability to grow the business.

To gain a better understanding of what’s been happening, Emerson worked with an industry benchmarking company and studied over 400 capital projects and found that Top Quartile companies completed the same project for half the cost and in half the time compared to fourth quartile companies. Two primary issues causing this type of variance are increased complexity and outdated methods.

Complexity of scope, challenging locations, and technical complexity may be obvious. But recognizing how “traditional” or outdated methods are holding us back is perhaps a new insight—especially when faced with creating a more sustainable business model in a rapidly changing landscape focused on competition, price pressure, and higher risk.

This article highlights how leveraging automation can ensure on time project completion with digital technologies that can automate workflows; wireless instruments that can eliminate field engineering and wiring costs; new analytics that create smarter plants, and the ability to build full digital twins of both the plant and the control system.

It shares how to start digitally transforming projects by eliminating costs, reducing complexity, and better accommodating automation design changes during the project with less impact on the schedule.

Working with an expert Main Automation Contractor (MAC) to help design and implement the best digital transformation strategy for the project is another step to achieving project execution success.

By following more effective methodologies and adopting new digital technologies, refiners can digitally transform projects and set the stage for maximizing the profitability and ROI over the next 20 to 60 years.

Read the full article in the Refiner’s Guide to Digital Transformation and Top Quartile Performance section on or download a copy.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.

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