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World-class safety and project control standards achieved at petrochemical complex in China

The Shanghai Ethylene Cracker Complex (SECCO) in Shanghai is a US$2.7 billion petrochemical complex, including a world-scale ethylene plant and four downstream process plants.

We were part of the Integrated Project Management Team responsible for the design, construction and commissioning of the site. We also undertook the engineering for the off-sites utilities and infrastructure, which included a power distribution centre and a ground flare to burn off excess gas – the first to be built in China.

Differences in working practices between western and Chinese contractors presented a significant challenge during the development of the complex, particularly in safety. There were significant cultural gaps, which meant investment was needed in training and equipment to raise the safety standards. We included an incentive scheme for safety performance which led to a steady improvement in safety standards and resulted in three million man hours worked without a lost time incident.

We recruited and trained 100 local staff in technical and management skills, developed local knowledge through bespoke training courses and then introduced international standards to equipment manufacturers, so that they were able to produce plant components to these specifications.

By using our experience in the management of complex projects and investing in the local skills-base, we contributed to the delivery of the fastest, most cost-effective petrochemical complex to be built in China. The plant meets world standards, not only in technology, but also in safety and will supply high-quality petrochemicals to the rapidly growing Chinese market.

Location:Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
Client:Shanghai SECCO Petrochemical Company Ltd
Value:£1.9 billion (Project)
Scope:Project management, engineering
Date:2001 – 2005