By Ying Feng and Gade P. Rangaiah, National University of Singapore |
Capital cost assessment is an integral part of process design when building or expanding a chemical process plant. It is required to provide project analysis and evaluation, to select among alternative designs, to plan the appropriation of funds and to serve as a basis for project cost control. Capital cost estimation is also important for an engineerng student’s final design project.
The accuracy of capital cost estimates depends on the available design details, the accuracy of the cost data, as well as the time available to prepare estimates. The generally accepted classification of capital cost estimates (Table 1) is published by the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering (AACE International). Currently, several methods and associated computer programs exist for estimating capital cost, and they provide mainly study or preliminary estimates (Table 1; Class 4).
An evaluation and comparison of the computer programs available for capital cost estimation provides a better understanding of both their use and the methods behind them. This article arose out of a systematic effort by the authors to apply and analyze several programs available for capital cost estimation. The goals of this effort were to evaluate available…