Four Major Facility Expansion Projects

Reduction of engineering costs as a percentage of construction from 13% to 6%. Project savings of $53 million.

A chemical manufacturing client with whom SSOE had a 20+ year relationship, enlisted the firm for a series of projects to expand their facilities. Initial expansions involved capital investments of $50 million; subsequent expansions grew to over $2 billion in capital investment. SSOE provided front-end loading, detailed design, procurement, project controls, and start-up support for these projects that involved complex and highly proprietary chemical process expansions as well as facility additions.

Over four years and four projects, SSOE tracked the project’s engineering costs against the total installed cost. The firm’s goal was to drive cost out of the overall project, as well as to reduce the engineering costs on each subsequent project. Working together with the client, SSOE saved more than $53 million in overall costs and was able to drive down the engineering costs as a percentage of construction from 13% to 6%. One key factor in this dramatic reduction was SSOE’s ability to develop an intimacy with the client and commitment to learn the client’s process and use that knowledge to work more efficiently.

Pipeline and Meter Station Replacement

Tight coordination of the procurement process prevented potential schedule delays and cost increases due to a scarcity of available parts.

Increasing demand for gas in areas served by an obsolete pipeline prompted Consumers Energy to engage SSOE’s engineering and procurement services to upgrade and replace the line. The project included developing multiple iterations of the routing plan to avoid  recreational areas. SSOE assisted in obtaining permits from the township and various other agencies. The approved route added two miles to the line, making the 24-inch pipe 11 miles in length. SSOE also designed a temporary bypass to maintain gas service while the 2.5-year project was completed.

The project also involved significant changes to the existing metering stations. One station was demolished and replaced, while the other was upgraded and remodeled. A separation wall was installed to provide safety in the event of a gas leak. SSOE developed renderings of the stations and designed landscaping to create a residential character to these buildings, allowing them to blend into their surroundings.

Procurement proved to be challenging due to the extent of supplies and materials that had to be pre-purchased and the difficulty of obtaining the needed parts. SSOE responded to the challenge with careful tracking and tight coordination of the procurement process.