Optimal tackles big, tough projects every day, but Hurricane Harvey blew our normal scheduled maintenance strategy apart when it tore through the Houston area. Not only did we have to manage hundreds of workers, the hurricane forced an early start to the project to protect the plant’s vital infrastructure and displaced so many people that we couldn’t find housing for our team.
Refinery turnarounds are shutdowns for critical maintenance, always planned and scheduled well in advance. The original project scope included standard turnaround requirements like general mechanical, specialty welding, and exchanger repair work. However, much of this project deviated from normal procedure.
Hurricane Harvey roared through the region, displacing locals and travelers and forcing an early start to the turnaround. The intense flooding and damage that came with the storm meant all area hotels were full, and Optimal’s 450 team members were without housing.
Our team applied our logistics prowess to the housing problem first. We began brainstorming a range of possible options before deciding to utilize prefab, modular, temporary housing. As a result, the quality of Optimal’s team shined through, and we were able to complete all work on schedule with our signature excellent quality standards.
We worked with our client to find a builder and procure sufficient housing for hundreds of craftsmen on-site. In effect, we built our own temporary hotel for our staff of hundreds, so with housing in place, we were able to accommodate the client’s new, earlier schedule for the work. Because of our problem-solving ability, we were the first contract company on-site after the floodwaters receded.