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Chemical Plant Construction Time Estimation

Chemical Plant Construction Time Estimation

Chemical Plant Construction Time Estimation

I am a political science faculty member currently working on a public policy project that requires that I calculate the least amount of time required for the construction of a new chemical facility. I have found quite a lot of information on cost estimation, but need to know where I can look for reliable estimates of the quickest construction could be completed (assuming cost is not an important variable). Does anyone know of a book, textbook, journal, trade publication, article, etc. where I could find this information? Thank you in advance.

RE: Chemical Plant Construction Time Estimation

There are lots of factors that influence "Fast-Track" project planning.
These may include but not limited to the following:
1. Job location - Houston Gulf Coast, Siberia, or central Saudi Arabia?
2. Plant Construction method - Stick build in place, Prefabricated Modules, other
3. Type of plant - Feed, End Products, Process, Operating Pressures, Operating Temperatures,
4. Availability of skilled construction labor
5 Logistics - Delivery of Plant Machinery & Equipment, Bulk Materials (Pipe, Valves, Fittings, Electrical Conduit, etc.) Construction equipment and construction consumables
6 Soil conditions - Swamp, Frozen, Solid Rock, Etc.
7. Local Politics
8. Local Permits and Codes
9. Technology - Known process or New unproven State-of-the-Art Technology

These are just a few of by least favorite things.  

RE: Chemical Plant Construction Time Estimation

Most chemical process engineers learn from a book by Peters and Timmerhaus called "Plant Design and Economics for Chemical Engineers".  It's very good and a great reference.  This book explains how to find break even points, ROIs on plants and cost estimates for vessels, internals, trim, catalysts, utilities etc installation costs, FOB for equipment.  I use it for quick estimates for feasibility studies.  It's likely at your University Library so you wouldn't have to purchase it.

RE: Chemical Plant Construction Time Estimation

New chemical facility is pretty generic term for the kind of detail you are trying to get to.  As the others stated this is going to be very dependent on many factors.

You could get the Timmerhaus book and back out time frame from labor hours based on your fictional design.  What is your end goal?

RE: Chemical Plant Construction Time Estimation

Another excellent reference is Planning, Estimating, and Control of Chemical Construction Projects by Navarrete and Cole.  This book covers all types of construction time estimating from conceptual to detailed.  Cuts to the chase without alot of excess verbiage.

mfetzien - you mentioned estimates for "trim".  I have seen this term used often as estimating pipe "trim", vessel "trim", etc.

What exactly is trim?  I have asked this question many times and never really got a good answer.

Thanks in advance,


RE: Chemical Plant Construction Time Estimation


Trim is widely considered the auxiliaries surrounding the vessel or column.  So, level gauges, standpipes, bridles, staircases.  But, depending how the cost of the trim is calculated might include man ways, nozzles, PSVs.
It's not a clearly defined term, but usually means low price items that are needed for the vessel to function versus the high expense elements such as the internals: weirs, downcomers, vortex breakers, distributors, stand pipes, 2:1 hemispherical head ends.

I believe if you look in a good book on piping you will likely find a more definitive answer.

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