Case Study: How meticulous planning kept production running during Sasol shutdown

by Energy Partners


May 30, 2024

by Energy Partners


May 30, 2024

Industrial complexes, like Sasol One in Sasolburg, have scheduled shutdowns every three to five years, to allow critical maintenance and plant upgrades to be performed. During these shutdowns, supply of critical utilities such as steam, can be interrupted, leading to substantial production losses.

Recently Energy Partners was tasked with installing boilers and generating steam at three different locations to service isolated areas within the plant, allowing operations to be unaffected during the shutdown period.


Project Overview:


The project aimed to install three boilers, each equipped with independent power supply, water treatment systems, feedwater tanks, boiler fuel tanks, and interconnecting pipework. Additionally, the boilers required dedicated operators to run the plants 24/7 for a month. With the previous successful execution of a similar project in 2018, Energy Partners had valuable insights into requirements and areas for improvement.

Challenges Faced:


Tight Timeline: The team had only three months to design, install, and commission three complete boiler installations, with the commencement date set in stone.

Complex Requirements: Each boiler had to be self-sufficient and tailored to specific areas of the factory, demanding meticulous planning and execution.

High Stakes: Failure to deliver on time could result in significant production losses running into hundreds of millions.




Utilising Past Experience: Drawing from the knowledge gained from a similar project for Sasol in 2018, Energy Partners identified areas for improvement and streamlined processes.

Robust Planning: Detailed planning sessions were conducted to allocate resources efficiently, minimise downtime, and ensure adherence to the strict timeline.

Collaborative Efforts: Clear communication channels were established, fostering collaboration among team members and stakeholders to address challenges promptly.

Continuous Monitoring: Regular progress assessments and quality checks were implemented to track milestones and ensure adherence to project specifications.




Despite the formidable challenges, the project was a resounding success:

On-Time Delivery: The team delivered three fully operational boiler installations precisely on schedule.

Cost-Effective Solutions: By leveraging past experiences and optimising processes, the project was completed within the allocated budget, minimising unnecessary expenses.

Exceptional Performance: Energy Partners’ dedication and expertise contributed to the project’s success, showcasing our commitment to delivering quality results under pressure.

Energy Partners’ successful execution of the Sasol boiler installation project exemplifies our ability to navigate complex challenges and deliver exceptional outcomes.  By leveraging past experiences, robust planning, and collaborative efforts, we ensured uninterrupted operations during the factory shutdown, safeguarding against potential production losses. This case study underscores the importance of effective project management and teamwork in achieving success even under demanding circumstances.

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