Is an improvement potential of 15% to 30% reduction of overall RCA value possible?

An international petrochemical company which has its production located at Chemelot in Sittard, the Netherlands, produces raw materials for the production of different types of plastics. These plastics are made from hydrocarbons extracted from refined petroleum.

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The challenge

PDM has been asked to conduct an in-depth, fact-based Root Cause Analysis (RCA) of the current asset/plant performance in order to identify the improvement in asset’s reliability and the increase in Asset’s technical project and turnaround performance. PDM was also asked to identify levers to reduce unplanned downtime and production losses as well as structural levers to improve Asset’s operational performance in Sittard-Geleen.

The approach

We did a cold eye review of the current plant performance in terms of:

  • As-is performance (on-stream time, downtime, planned and unplanned shutdown issues per plant) using data analysis, RCA reviews, performance reviews, and underlying performance analyses
  • Plant up and downtime: performance and management practices
  • TA: performance and management practices
  • Plant reliability & integrity: performance and management practices.
  • As-is processes: maturity level reviews (daily maintenance, performance management, technical projects, turnaround, performance reviews, continuous improvement).


  • Interviews and workshops with key employees: plant senior management, operations, maintenance, engineering, projects, procurement & contracting
  • Identification of structural root causes per plant and per process element
  • Development of first pass solutions (improvement and implementation themes) for management review
  • We defined high-level improvement opportunity case for management review.


Preliminary figures indicated an improvement potential of 15% (base) to 30% (stretch) reduction of overall RCA value per year.

The client, Petrochemical industry

The result of an improvement potential of 15% (base) to 30% (stretch) reduction of overall RCA value per year confirm our projections.