The EPC contractor is made up of Engineering (design) consisting of various disciplines, Procurement and Construction. That’s the name EPC stands for. Process discipline, the background of which is chemical, is usually the leader of other disciplines. Piping and equipment disciplines are mechanical based. Instrument and electrical are from electronics and electrical. Civil is supporting role to piping and equipment.

Among them, the process outlines a plant and input data to other disciplines (piping, equipment, instrument and electrical), such as design basis, process flow diagram (PFD), process datasheet, equipment list, piping and instrumentation diagram (P&ID), and utility flow diagram (UFD). Piping, which designs pressurized pipes carrying steam or other media and is usually space dominant with kinds of equipment, will coordinate all the requirements and put them into the 3D programme called PDS (Plant Development System). The 3D piping isometric drawing modeling gives pipe routes and indicates the possible routing space for instrument and electrical. It's usually a heavy work load discipline. The plot plan is the master plan produced by piping.


  Project 1 Project 2 Project 3 Project 4 Project N
Engineering        ------------------------------------------------------->












Procurement |        
Construction v        

The EPC organization operates by matrix system. The above chart shows that the projects (horizontal) and functional departments (vertical) are running parallelled. Practically, one project team may handle a few projects under the same client. Engineering disciplines serve all projects, providing projects with drawings, specifications, bill of material / quantities, technical bid evaluations, etc., and attending to site problems. They are EPC’s main work force and also the main source of revenue. Therefore, it is vital to set budget and control man-hours spent. Procurement is to get equipment and bulk material supplier, negotiating cost and shipment. Construction deals with sub-contractors, site management, field progress monitoring (using Last Planner Concept), safety and QC. The project functions as the center point to drive the project, control the cost, coordinate the engineering disciplines, procurement and construction. A PM with a few young engineers plus one secretary, who supports documentation and dossier, form a project team (called PMT), which may specialize in one of the fields of work, eg., refinery, petrochemical, chemical, or pharmaceutical. It is the contact point to the client.

The main advantage of EPC is to overlap the design, procurement and construction stages and therefore reduce total project duration. It also caters to the client’s on-going changes during the project life cycle. EPC system is designed for plant construction. Plant design is its strength. EPC integrates the discipline’s specialities. Comparing to the building and civil lines, though there are M&E works involved, civil, nevertheless, is taking the lead and the project is the center. All resources are under the project and revenue is also generated from the project. On the downside of EPS, information in an EPC company may be fragmented among disciplines and departments. The project is not able to go to detail on all the disciplines. It relies heavily on disciplines and other departments to support its operation. Therefore, communication among the project, disciplines and departments are very important.

The following chart illustrates the overall work flow of an oil and gas EPC company.


Refer to the first item of the chart above. Front End Engineering Design (FEED) study, that is, basic engineering design, is one of the EPC features. The contents can be illustrated as the following chart.

An ISO certified operation manual and company wised WBS have been established. The WBS is functional based and comprehensive. It covers project management, basic engineering, detailed engineering, commissioning and operation. The three layered WBS gives details of procurement and all disciplines’ professional services. The standard has laid a good foundation for other aspects of work, such as drawing numbering, man-hour recording and programme breakdown items.

Since EPC operation is inter-disciplines, Primavera Project Management Enterprise version (P3e) seems more suitable to the company wised project management (P3 instead, is project based, reflects the building and civil contracting work operation). In reality, application of P3e or P6 is far from satisfactory. In most cases, it is contract-driven and requirements of the client. To implement company wised project management, some refinement of work flow and information re-organisation and integration will be involved. This is not just using the software and only a few people or just the planner can deal with.

Engineering: by man-hour spent, volume of document deliverables
Procurement: by monetary value of equipment and bulk material (example, pipes).
PO (30%) and delivery (70%).
Construction: by quantity. For example, piping by diameter-inch (dia-in). Steel structure installation by ton.

Security to the Jurong Island is high. You need to get sponsor (client) approval, take safety course and then get an entry pass to Jurong Island. It is like crossing the causeway to Malaysia. Armed forces guard the entrance and patrol the island. To enter the plant, you have to take anther safety course and get a plant pass. On top of the helmet and safety boot which are standard personal protection equipment (PPE) on a construction site, you need to put on luminous uniform, goggles and harness if climbing to scaffold.

Since all petro-chemical plants are on Jurong Island and the Juring East is the “gateway” to the town, it’s no surprising that almost all oil related companies’ offices are located in the International Business Park (IBP), just five minutes drive away from the Jurong East MRT. There is feeder bus service plying between the Jurong East MRT and IBP.


  • CH2M Hill (USA). http://www.ch2m.com
  • Foster Wheeler (USA). http://www.fwc.com
  • Jacobs (USA). http://www.jacobs.com
  • JGC (Japan). http://www.jgc.co.jp/en/index.html
  • McConnell Dowell (Australia). http://www.mcconnelldowell.com
  • Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding (Japan). http://www.mes.co.jp/english/index.html
  • m+w zander (Germany). http://www.mw-zander.com
  • Rotary Engineering Limited (Singapore). http://www.rotaryeng.com.sg


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