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Comment Business & Economics

Project design decision-making: Option lists

By Chemical Engineering |

Most of the more than $100 billion in capital spending and $1.2 trillion in prodution costs spent annually by the chemical process industries (CPI) is committed by decisions made in the early phases of process development and plant design. A more disciplined approach to decision-making that fosters early attention to costs and more thorough consideration of available options has the potential to lower costs for most projects and better balance capital and production costs.  The Economic Design Model is a method to formalize this disciplined approach to cost considerations [1]. The model has three phases: setting project objectives; creating a thorough and comprehensive list of options; and conducting an economic analysis of the technically workable options. The model is helpful for early-stage decision-making (product and process development, feasibility evaluation and conceptual phases). Large amounts of money are at stake in these early phases because the decisions made there set the future economic framework. Creating Options Lists  The heart of the Economic Design Model in a process- or plant-design project involves creating a full list of options for completing the project. To identify the best of the available options,…
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