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Adding value through seamless project design and execution

Adding Value through Extended Front End Engineering Design


Front end engineering is arguably the single most important process in a facility project life cycle. It creates strong early links between the business or mission need and the project’s strategy, scope, cost, and schedule, and maintains these links throughout the project life. Other industry terms for front end engineering design include front end loading, basic engineering, design development, and others. Because experience has shown a direct relationship between project success and degree of front end planning, we have created eFEED.


Hytech defines extended front end engineering design (eFEED) as “the development of a comprehensive front end engineering package that includes sufficient definition in its deliverables to provide value to any project’s overall execution phase”. Hytech’s experience indicates that well performed conceptual and front end engineering design have the following benefits: it can reduce costs; it leads to less project variability in terms of cost, schedule, and operating characteristics; and it decreases the overall project execution life cycle.

What is eFEED?


eFEED moves critical engineering tasks and documentation completion from the Detail Engineering to the FEED phase. More specifically:


  • Instrumentation is both specified and selected with make and model, especially control valves as these are one of the most critical pieces of instrumentation both for the procurement phase and to the process itself.

  • Pressure vessels (separators, drums, columns, reactors) are specified, sized and code calculated, rendering a complete datasheet with overall size, materials, nozzle sizes and orientations and fitting definitions; a detailed general arrangement (GA) drawing showing detail sizing, nozzle sizes and orientations, plate, head and nozzle thicknesses, allowances, support details, internals details, structural information (platforms, clips, ladders); a complete ASME Code calculation supporting the GA drawing.

  • Shell & tube heat exchangers are completely specified, sized and mechanically calculated. TEMA sheet is completely filled out, usually from a run in industry specific software and using sound engineering judgment and experience. This yields a datasheet, and a set of detailed GA drawings: shell & heads, tubesheet & pass partitions, supports, head/tubesheet/shell assembly, baffle cut & orientation. These drawings are backed up by their corresponding ASME Code calculation.

  • Air cooled heat exchangers are also sized and completely specified. The detailed datasheet containing all the vital information for a proper design and operation is accompanied by the proposed plot plan of the unit.

  • Centrifugal pumps are thoroughly specified, indicating not only design head, design flow and shutoff head, but also materials, power, API pump type (if applicable), electrical area classification and available power, connections, coupling requirements, and seal specification recommendations.


eFEED Advantages


This has several real advantages:


  • Equipment specified by FEED engineers, not suppliers: FEED engineers have the know-how of the overall process and how each unit operation interacts with each other, as well as deep understanding of project and international standards. By including all that knowledge into the eFEED datasheets, specifications and accompanying deliverables, very little is left to the suppliers’ criteria and often cumbersome project general standards interpretation and compliance by third parties. This simple but important twist to typical front end engineering design adds considerable value to the subsequent procurement process and overall project execution phase.

  • Improvement in purchase process overall duration: By having high spec engineering documents readily available at the start of the EPC stage, chances for the suppliers quoting incorrect or not-fit materials and equipment are noticeable reduced. Negotiation and quote phases can be brought down to only one phase of RFQ-Proposal-Tabbing-Approval without the need to requote due to poor initial specification or missing information. Moreover, the facility owner may opt to purchase the most important equipment by himself, saving money by avoiding the usual and not small markup that EPC contractors imprint to their purchases.

  • Readily available vessel engineering at the beginning of the EPC phase: By having vessel datasheets, mechanical calculations and GA drawings, EPC contractors can precisely quote and even purchase or fabricate all pressure vessels as soon as they are awarded with the contract. There is no need to build the vessel drawing from scratch as it is already done, saving valuable project time and manhours normally used in interacting back and forth with the shop.

  • Readily available information to commence with the piping and civil detail engineering right at the beginning of the EPC phase: By having all equipment final position in the plant layout, weights, and sizing and preliminary orientation of connections, EPC contractors can start with the piping and civil detail engineering without the need to wait for shops or equipment suppliers to provide drawings and critical information. This saves valuable project time.

eFEED at its best: Plant revamps and upgrades


eFEED has been specifically tweaked for revamp projects, where front end definitions matter the most and shutdown times are critical. Hytech’s implementation of eFEED may be defined by:


  • Full plant analysis from the process and control point of views: Deep investigation and understanding of an existing facility, which includes plant surveys, existing P&ID assessment, operator debriefing, sample collection, key process variable readings & recordings.

  • Rigorous process model including validated actual plant data: By using the collected data from the plant or field, the project team can prepare a representative simulation that will allow them to extrapolate the response of the facility to different conditions: i.e. increased throughput, feedstock composition change, turndown conditions, and fluctuating ambient conditions, among others.

  • Carefully planned tie-ins: Tie-ins are planned for a brief shutdown, as low as reasonably possible. To achieve this, Hytech’s team prioritize the use of hot taps, sacrifice valves, and try to avoid the intervention of process equipment shells or parts subject to pressure.

  • Bolted or lock-in mechanisms for internals replacement: As equipment internals are the key to an optimal vessel or fractionating column operation, Hytech has designed proprietary solutions for enhanced internal replacements. The company has the ability to custom design and supply internals for each specific revamp situation and has developed a fabricating and installation technique that avoids the use of welding to the shell of the vessel. All parts are bound together by bolts and nuts, compression or are inserted by pressing them against the internal walls.

  • Shutdown oriented solutions: Time is money. We know that. That’s why all solutions offered by Hytech have the same ultimate goal: minimize shutdown times. By implementing Hytech’s upgrade strategy, a plant revamp consisting of column trays replacement, a couple of new pieces of equipment and a few piping tie-ins can be achieved in only 48 hours.


A detail engineering job needs a solid front-end basis from which to start, and we know the hard way that this is not always available. At Hytech we put extra effort and go the extra mile to complete basic engineering packages prior to begin with detail engineering. This puts the project team in an advantageous position, having purchase ready and detail engineering-ready only one month into the EPC project, if not ready available.


Take for example pressure vessels. These pieces of equipment are sized during the front-end phase (length, diameter), materials are specified and size and number of connections are defined too. However, no mechanical calculation is usually done, not to say a full-fledged GA drawing showing supports, orientations, reinforces, wall thicknesses and more. We can have those documents ready in only 45 days, as a final revision, as a valuable input to the shop to almost immediately commence fabrication. Not only the shop benefits from these deliverables, but the piping detail engineering does as well. As orientations are defined, detail piping designers can move forward and start producing isometric drawings and even the 3D model.


Hytech’s way of managing detail engineering within EPC jobs is somewhat different from other integrated EPC companies. Construction companies and integrated EPC companies know the business revolves around construction, deeming the engineering work as a necessary task to get to the goal. Hytech core business is engineering itself, designing and making the plant run as efficiently as possible. In order to successfully complete the EPC, our company teams up with trusted construction companies (we have been doing this for decades) who openly admit their business is the construction itself. Here are some key features of the engineering-construction companies project management integration:




  • Engineering schedule integrates with procurement and construction schedules. There are no clear-cut gates within the EPC job, so that every party is responsible for the entire project.

  • Design engineers interact closely with fabricators, allowing a faster output both in documentation and in equipment delivery.

  • Two construction company project controllers (schedule and cost) work in engineering offices to make sure project is properly managed.

  • Two engineering company project engineers work on site to make sure all engineering design guidelines are met and to help narrow gaps and clarify doubts when applicable.

  • No need to approve shop drawings for pressure vessels and heat exchangers as most of them are generated by the engineering party.

  • Most RFQ packages are prepared with a high level of definition (usually with item selection), so that bidders can quote with accuracy in the first pass and avoid repeated quotation phases and time-consuming negotiations.

  • Received quotes are strictly reviewed by the engineering party, never taking compromise on quality and functionality.

Starting an EPC from a third party conceptual or basic engineering package



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