Q&A - The Impact of New Regulations and Increased Activity in the Petrochemical and Refining Market with Shawn Senf

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The new regulations are impacting the industry on two fronts. First, per modifications to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), refiners will be required to use (or blend) more renewable fuels than they have in the past, including biofuels like ethanol. The second area that they are impacting relates to emissions control, which has lead refiners to start looking at how they can make their facilities more environmentally friendly. As is the case with any large-scale EPC project, planning will be key in handling the increased workload and complying with new regulations. Many existing facilities will need to be retrofitted with more aggressive emissions control measures, such as flare gas recovery and flare minimization systems. Others may require more substantial, capital-intensive changes. Performing feasibility studies to determine which option is most beneficial from both a financial and operational standpoint will be critical. There are really two things that will drive spending in the near-term future. First and foremost are depressed oil prices, which have historically benefited the petrochemical and refining sector. The second is increasingly strict EPA regulations, which have already begun to take effect, and are forcing operators to make modifications to their existing facilities in order to avoid costly fines. What implications do the new regulations have on the petrochemical and refining market? With increased activity throughout the petrochemical and refining sector, what types of measures can companies take to ensure that their facilities' human capital needs are met? What are some key factors to consider when performing a feasibility study for a petrochemical and refining facility? What steps can operators take to handle the increased workload and, at the same time, comply with the new regulations? What about the increased use of modular designs at petrochemical and refining facilities? Do you see that trend continuing in the coming years? What are some of the benefits of in-plant staffing services? Staffing will play a critical role in 2016. With increased activity, refiners can expect to experience difficulty in securing skilled labor – and they should plan accordingly. Operators who address their human capital needs reactively will be opening the door to potential problems, such as project delays, unplanned downtime, and an inability to meet maintenance requirements. In addition to the traditional measures, such as employing aggressive recruiting strategies and developing internal programs aimed at retaining talent, companies will have to utilize other methodologies. One service we offer that our clients find particularly beneficial is in-plant staffing services. In-plant staffing can provide multiple benefits in terms of financial and operational performance. By having access to a pool of qualified professionals, refiners can minimize the risk associated with not being able to adequately staff their facilities. It gives refiners the flexibility to scale up or down depending on their workflow, maximize resources, and leverage opportunities. It also reduces the operator's burden of recruiting, pre-deployment, on-boarding, and performance management. Refining facilities include hundreds, or sometimes thousands, of pieces of equipment and are extremely complex. Feasibility studies must be comprehensive and take into consideration a number of factors, such as economic viability, operational considerations, legal ramifications, scheduling, and resource concerns. Modular construction offers a number of advantages over the traditional stick-build approach, particularly with regards to installation and commissioning. However, the extent of those advantages will depend on the specific requirements of the facility. In cases where modularization of an entire facility is not feasible, operators may still be able to benefit by modularizing certain pieces of equipment, like a distillation unit. Spending on U.S. petrochemical and refining projects is expected to increase significantly over the next three to five years. What is driving that? 10 Minutes with Shawn Senf: Vice President of Downstream, Audubon Engineering Solutions The Impact of New Regulations and Increased Activity in the Petrochemical and Refining Market auduboncompanies.com

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