Upcoming study features significant enhancements to the study’s sustainability footprint, as well as deeper insights to energy, yield, reliability and maintenance, and workforce performance. 

HSB Solomon Associates LLC (Solomon) is investing heavily in the Worldwide Olefin Plant Performance Analysis (Olefin Study) in preparation for the 2023 study year, building on the substantial improvements delivered with the 2021 Olefin Study. Sustainability will remain a major investment theme for 2023, with the sustainability footprint of the study receiving significant enhancements. The Olefin Study improvement scope will not be limited to sustainability, however. Improvements are being implemented across the full breadth of the study, bringing deeper insights to energy, yield, reliability and maintenance, and workforce performance. New offerings will be added to the Olefin Study portfolio to address carbon footprint gap and cracker fleet performance. Finally, Solomon will be replacing the existing Olefin Study Input Module (OSIM) to streamline data collection activities and improve participant usability. Solomon remains committed to significantly increasing the level of insights and value that participants derive from the study. The investment program for the 2023 Olefin Study is aligned with this objective and continues the heavy investment trend of recent years.

Sustainability Improvements

Sustainability benchmarking, launched in 2021 to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, cost of carbon, hydrogen disposition, regulated air emissions, water use, and safety, will be expanded in the 2023 Olefin Study:

  • Circular Feedstocks and Products – The utilization of attributed-recycled feedstocks, bio-feeds, and other sustainably-sourced feedstocks will be reported, along with the yield of recycled-attributed olefin products.
  • Carbon Emissions Index (CEI) – CEI, the primary metric for GHG emissions, will undergo additional enhancements to better capture the impact of plant fuel composition on scope 1 and scope 2 emissions.
  • Extended Carbon Emissions (CE2+) – A new extended carbon footprint metric, CE2+, will be introduced to account for GHG impact beyond the scope 2 boundary arising from hydrogen and fuel sales.
  • Cost of Carbon – Reporting of cost of carbon will be expanded, including economic gap due to carbon emissions fees.
  • Safety – Safety metrics will be expanded for turnaround safety and process safety performance.

Energy Improvements 

Energy benchmarking, which received significant upgrades in the 2021 Olefin Study, will be enhanced in 2023 to provide additional insights for both efficiency improvement and carbon footprint reduction:

  • Energy Analytics – To compliment the Energy Sustainability Index (ESI™) and Energy Intensity Index® (EII™), new energy analytics will be introduced to capture key differentiating factors of top energy performers.
  • Steam and Power Generation – New data will be collected and reported on internal steam and power generation, including onsite renewable generation.
  • Energy Data Input – As part of the new Olefin Study Input Module, the collection of energy data will be streamlined and consolidated.

Yield Improvements

Yield benchmarking will be updated to accommodate the growing number of non-traditional olefin plant feedstocks resulting from both sustainability initiatives and energy transition activities:

  • Circular Feedstocks and Products – Attributed-recycled feedstock will be reported relative to overall pyrolysis feedstock. In addition, recycled-attributed olefin products will be reported relative to overall olefin products.
  • Refinery Off-Gas Feedstocks – The reporting of refinery off-gas feedstocks will be enhanced to provide more insight for fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) off-gas, coker off-gas, and saturated off-gas contributions to olefin plant yield performance.
  • Supplemental Feedstocks – The reporting of non-cracked feedstocks will be expanded to provide more insight by source and composition for the diverse range of supplemental feedstocks.
  • Heavy Feeds – The capability for heavy feedstock cracking will be expanded, enabling multiple heavy feedstocks with differing characteristics to be independently reported.

Reliability And Maintenance Improvements

Reliability and Maintenance benchmarking will be enhanced to provide deeper insight into the performance of plant systems most critical to olefin plant reliability:

  • Furnace Reliability – Utilization metrics will be expanded to provide more visibility to decoking performance on furnace availability.
  • Compressor Reliability – Data will be collected and reported on major compressor events, causal factors, and turbomachinery maintenance practices.

Workforce Improvements 

Workforce benchmarking will be augmented with the addition of age demographic profiles by work function for operations, maintenance, and technical staff.

New Study Offerings For 2023

Solomon will be launching two new offerings effective with the 2023 Olefin Study. Each will be available as subscription options to study participants:

  • Fleet Operator Insights – The Fleet Operator Insights Report will provide fleet operator participants with a company-specific analysis of their fleet relative to other multi-plant (5+) fleets. This unique report will provide fleet level comparative insights regarding asset base, feedstock flexibility, feedstock consumption profile, operational performance, efficiency performance, sustainability performance, and financial performance.
  • Carbon Insights and GHG Gap – The Carbon Insights and GHG Gap Report is a plant-specific analysis of carbon emissions performance, quantifying the impact of more than 10 differentiating factors that drive comparative carbon performance for olefin plants. Included in this offering is a GHG gap analysis versus top global GHG performers, providing detailed improvement potential on both a CO2 e footprint and cost of carbon basis.

Data Collection Improvements 

The OSIM, the data collection medium for the study for the past several years, will be replaced in its entirety. The new data collection module will be designed to improve usability, incorporate more real-time analytics for data quality, and be more compatible with participant network environments and work processes. As part of this data collection redesign, the study instructions will be thoroughly revamped, and the Data Coordinator Seminar (DCS) syllabus will undergo major updates.

Behind The Scenes Improvements 

Many behind the scenes improvements are being implemented for the 2023 Study. Solomon continues to make investments in data analytics and automation platforms to both improve study effectiveness and facilitate deeper performance insights. The many overlapping layers of confidentiality safeguards and cybersecurity protections that surround all Solomon benchmarking studies are continually reviewed, pressure tested, and hardened. Finally, we continue to increase the depth and breadth of olefin industry expertise within our Olefin Study team to provide greater value to our study participants.

We look forward to your participation in the 2023 Olefin Study. Contact us to learn more. 

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