We contributed substantial capital and operating expenditure savings at a new rubber chemicals manufacturing facility in Gujarat, India. The plant, at Jhagadia, was built for international chemicals producer LANXESS as part of a strategy to relocate its operations from Mumbai. We were the designer for the new facility.
INR45M equipment savings
It was part of our remit as designer of the new production centre to reuse specialist, high value equipment from Mumbai. Some 400 items had been listed. But surveying the old facility showed the potential to reclaim and recycle far more than was initially planned. Because the facility had been built in a modular way, pipes, pumps and valves, light fittings, electrical control systems and even steel columns and beams from warehouses and office buildings could be removed for reuse. With LANXESS we inspected every item and specified the work needed to recondition it for use in the new Jhagadia facility. The exercise saved INR45 million.
Space saving design
In designing the new production process, we sought out opportunities to improve process flow efficiencies. Different processes could use shared heat and power sources and supply pipelines, for example, enabling duplications in equipment to be avoided and the plant to be laid out with fewer, shorter and straighter pipelines. Rationalising the plant layout enabled its physical footprint to be reduced by 15%, cutting a further INR4.5 million from the construction bill. By using heat and power more efficiently and reducing the energy required for pumping, the streamlined design also helped LANXESS to minimise its operational costs.
Getting a better price
Further financial gains were achieved during construction. Going into the build phase in 2008 we could see that the cost of materials was going to fall, so we set out to get LANXESS the best price. Normally the contractor would be responsible for procuring cement and steel. We renegotiated their terms, as well as our own, and took on responsibility for buying materials. The strategy resulted in savings of INR11 million.
Faster, safer construction
Buildings themselves were designed as reinforced concrete structures. We set out to make construction as rapid as possible by reducing the number of footings, columns and tie beams. During construction, we achieved further time savings, putting the project back on schedule after the contractor fell behind. We worked with LANXESS to appoint a second contractor. We also carried out a rapid redesign of the upper storeys as a composite steel-concrete solution as shortages of carpenters and steel fixers were holding back construction in reinforced concrete. The design and procurement changes enabled over two months of lost time to be clawed back, allowing the plant to be completed on time and under budget.
Throughout construction, we pursued safety - to the extent that in all, nearly 2 million man-hours were worked from start to completion without a single reportable accident.