Hazards in Plant Modifications, Revamping, Upgrading, Expansion works – do we know and have we evaluated all the associated risks?

Venkatesh Sourirajan, Dennis Ngai, Jason Fung

Hazards Australasia 2018


Plant modifications are routinely performed to meet the operational needs and implement minor design improvements which are handled largely by in-house teams. Extensive revamping and expansion works are carried out to upgrade or expand capacities for which external engineering firms may be employed. Revamping/ expansion works provide a cost effective way to improve capacities of existing plants and also utilize unused plots within the plant boundary. This may be more attractive during an economic downturn or in an environment of shrinking or uncertain margins.

There are however, significant hazards involved in such works about which the plant management is aware, while taking decisions of such nature and accordingly employ risk management measures to mitigate and manage such risks. The question arises whether we know all the risks and how we balance against economic values generated by such projects? What are the trade –offs? Are the regulators and insurers sufficiently informed? This paper will examine case studies and examples of modifications/ expansion works highlighting areas of risk and the need for management to be cautious while making go/no-go decisions.