When BP planned a maintenance shutdown of its largest Australian oil refinery, Coates Hire provided most of the tools and equipment used by the contractors.
In 2017 BP Australia introduced a four-year maintenance cycle for Australia’s largest oil refinery at Kwinana, WA. Previously the company put half of the refinery into ‘turnaround’ every two years while the other half remained operating. The new system meant the refinery would fully shutdown every four years and be able to operate at peak efficiency for longer than in the past.
 
BP Kwinana provides six million tonnes of petroleum products per year to Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania and supplies Perth Airport. It was imperative that the 2017 turnaround be effective in its objectives, with safety being the highest priority, underpinned by a focus on quality. The turnaround work force had to work efficiently to ensure the project stayed on schedule and costs were managed effectively.
 
More than $80 million was invested into the turnaround and an additional 1,800 staff recruited to support activities. The turnaround entailed complex project management to coordinate workers, materials, equipment and waste across the site. BP Australia also had to supply fuel during the shutdown.
 
Safety is the first priority for BP. We have the training and management systems to support that goal. 
Rod Stobart Coates Hire Shutdown Manager - West
A BP spokesperson says a successful turnaround required detailed planning not only of continuity of fuel supply, but the logistics to support a safe and seamless supply of equipment and materials. The planning entailed sourcing the right people for the job; the correct equipment had to be available on-site – when it was required – and the appropriate training needed to be completed for all personnel working on the site.
“BP had to co-ordinate and engage with multiple service and materials vendors,” says the spokesperson. “Coates Hire was engaged to provide the additional general and specialist tools – including rigging equipment – required to support the safe execution of this event.”
 
She says Coates Hire provided people and tools for the job, plus experience and management support.
“The Coates Hire workforce had site experience from previous maintenance events across the state. Knowing the core team on-site was also supported by the Coates Hire management team, was essential.”
 
Rod Stobart, Coates Hire Shutdown Manager - Projects, says the Kwinana Refinery turnaround was one of the biggest shutdown events in Australia. Coates Hire provided seven mobile on-site tools stores and around 12,000 equipment items, for use by the contractors.
“The contractors were experts in working in the shutdown environment. They required a large range of air and torque tools, as well as welding equipment, compressors and lighting towers.”
 
Stobart says Coates Hire provided daily reporting to BP – covering lost, damaged and overdue equipment, and cost reports – and used its proprietary online CHASE system to track tools and equipment.
 
Coates Hire provided field service for equipment and tools, support for specific contractor groups such as mechanics and electricians and ensured that equipment was matched with contractor competencies, for safety and efficiency.
 
“Safety is the first priority for BP,” says Stobart. “We have the training and management systems to support that goal.”

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