Chemical

VPI Immingham Power Station – Continuous Improvement Journey

Background

In the 18 months prior to MCP’s first visit to the VPI Immingham gas-fired power station, the facility had undergone a significant change in focus, following the sale of the business by Phillips 66 to Vitol Power.

This had led to a change in operating regime and focus as well as the removal of the corporate management support functions. Historically the major operating focus was the supply of uninterrupted steam to the two adjacent oil refineries with electricity supply to the grid is a by-product. The change of ownership caused a focus on the commercial supply of electricity, bringing with it a significant change of operating regime, although this was still balanced by the need to supply steam to the refineries.

In 2014, MCP was tasked with conducting an AMIS (Asset Maintenance Improvement System) assessment on site, covering both the maintenance and operations functions in order to identify gaps and opportunities, upon which the subsequent improvement journey would be based. The assessment identified that the business was operating in an extremely reactive mode at all levels of the organisation and was lacking many of the fundamental building blocks of both asset care and operations best practice.

However, these findings needed to be considered within the prevailing business context at the time. Despite being 10 years old, the business effectively became a start-up operation once again, following the sale to Vittol. The separation from Phillips had removed many of the basic management processes, which impacted both business performance and organisation. In addition, whilst a reactive approach was acceptable under the previous ownership and operating regime, the commercial demands of the business and a cost focus that had never been placed upon the site previously, made it necessary to apply a more considered, structured and proactive approach to the management of the site.

Solution

MCP APPROACH

In 2014 and each year thereafter, MCP conducted the AMIS assessment at VPI Immingham. AMIS uses a team-based self-assessment approach to evaluate the site’s current status of:

  • Maintenance
  • Spare parts management
  • Reliability
  • Use of CMMS
  • Use of Technology
  • Organisation effectiveness

From the results of the assessment, MCP worked with the site team to develop and implement improvement plans to address the shortcomings in order of priority, thereby helping the site improve the overall state of its maintenance and operations functions towards the target of achieving “World-Class” status.

The AMIS assessment process provides scores which measure the degree of compliance against best practice expectations.  These scores are provided for each category of the assessment.  The site scores are compared with all sector results and specifically with other sites in the same industry sector.

VPI APPROACH

From the outset, the site team at VPI implemented some significant changes to help drive the improvement process. These included:

  • Strong, visible drive and ownership by Senior Management, which cascaded through all levels of the organisation
  • The identification of quantifiable goals and targets for improvement year by year, including the AMIS Assessment score
  • The creation of a Maintenance and Operations Improvement Strategy, which served as the “North Star” to guide the programme
  • Significant focus on training and development of employee competency at all levels
  • A portion of the employee annual bonus was linked to the achievement of the target AMIS Assessment score

Outcomes

The table and graph below illustrate how the AMIS Assessment scores improved year on year. Achievement of “World-Class” status is based on the Maintenance portion of the assessment and requires a score of 75% or better. At the assessment at the end of 2018, the overall Maintenance score was 79% and Operations scored 82%, giving an overall site score of 81% in a 40:60 ratio.

AMIS ASSESSMENT SCORES

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