Unit and maintenance shutdowns

Although every industrial site is different and each process unique,

the control and optimization of their maintenance is a key issue for operators,

even more so during the crucial and critical phase of shutdowns.

To ensure the smooth running of production at an industrial site, such as a refinery or a chemical plant, regulations require operators to verify their facilities through regular inspections every 3 to 6 years in order to make sure that their state of operation is without risk for people and the environment.

The implications are significant for industrial sites. They concern the reliability of installations through:

  • The reinforcement of safety and security
  • The optimization of equipment
  • The improvement of energy capacity, by increasing efficiency and optimizing rate of use.

Historical expertise

In 1980, for the first time, the Ortec Group proposed a general offer for the management of a production shutdown for the Total refinery at La Mède. Rapidly, Ortec became recognized for its ability to organize and carry out these large-scale maintenance operations. Ever since then, it has supported major players in the petrochemical and the chemical industry: Total, BP, Shell, Naphtachimie, Exxon Mobil, Solvay, Lyondellbasell, etc.

The Ortec Group guarantees its clients the rigor and expertise of its employees as well as its tried and tested organization for maintenance shutdowns (planned shutdowns, incident shutdowns) onshore or offshore, while guaranteeing high quality work and a restart of facilities within the best possible time frame.

Attentive to the requirements of manufacturers

Constantly striving to reduce shutdown times, particularly through its methodology of planning, organization and coordination of interventions, Ortec sets up special procedures to optimize equipment operation such as system replacements, cleaning, etc.

The success of a unit shutdown can be measured by the rigor of the phases, the precision of interventions and the synchronization of the teams. This involves reconciling the fastest times possible while maintaining an impeccable level of quality.

Ortec teams conduct large-scale projects, from the planning phase to the performance of maintenance work and through to delivery. They coordinate skills in all trades and manage ongoing customer productivity issues in compliance with safety requirements throughout.


A crucial stage
To make procedures that can mobilize up to 2,500 individuals a success, the preparatory phase is fundamental. It begins between 6 to 12 months prior to the start of works.
A quality shutdown is a well-prepared shutdown

For the preparation and supervision of shutdowns, the subsidiary of the Ortec Group, SOM Industrie, offers comprehensive services (assistance, methods, coordination and monitoring) in mixed teams (Ortec + Client team) with an in situ and connected organization.

From the definition of the work required and the management of intervention requests to on-site readings and technical files, our experts identify the constraints – environmental or organizational – and coordinate the preparation of the shutdown with the operator’s internal departments.

This dedicated management includes :

Our service offering also includes the drafting of a scope of work for calls for tender, identifying resources, means and skills requirements, according to a detailed schedule.

Each participant is in possession of the necessary elements allowing them to effectively and safely fulfill the preparatory phase within the required deadlines.

Digital technology in support of performance shutdowns

In order to simplify interfaces, improve data quality and provide better visibility to the client in monitoring operations, the Ortec Group is breaking new ground by exploiting all available digital resources and by offering overall support with strong added value.

Digital technologies hold a prominent position in the innovative approach of the Ortec Group.

By saving time and increasing precision and performance, they improve the quality of services. During shutdowns, all the processes are digitalized. This approach promotes real-time monitoring of the work site thanks to shared documentation and a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS).

Anticipating customer expectations, improving existing solutions, designing efficient procedures, providing greater safety and precision, etc. these are the challenges that stimulate the Ortec Group’s innovative mindset.

Focus on Digital Forms

Precision, performance, security and quality

Digital Forms is a solution for on site-readings which operates on ATEX tablets for the areas that so require it.

The data collected is stored on secure servers, accessible at all times, and is transmitted directly to the shutdown’s coordination & control unit.

This solution, developed by the Ortec Group, makes it possible to minimize errors in readings, reduce deadlines and ensure an improved level of quality and monitoring of procedures.

The Works

Control and coordination

The “operational” part of a shutdown is the works phase:

  • equipment replacement
  • opening
  • cleaning or inspection of capacities
  • verifications (ultrasound, penetrant testing or radiography for welds)
  • metallurgy, sheet metal work, pipework services, etc.
To coordinate all the operations, an extremely clear organization is imperative. Ortec uses proven methods, specialized teams and has the benefit of its experience and its ability to manage complex projects.

From preparation through to after works cleanup, from maintenance to waste management, Ortec relies on synergies to offer a bespoke service in the best possible time frame.

A specific organization diagram for each shutdown defines respective responsibilities. Daily meetings update the schedule depending on progress or any new constraints. Works supervisors carry out checks during special shutdown meetings organized in advance with service providers. Once equipment is sealed, inspection can schedule a test in order to qualify the machine or the system.

A dedicated organization
Maintenance shutdowns are managed by a specific structure, the “Shutdowns and General Contractor” Department, which relies on the Ortec Group branch network, combining their expertise: piping, mechanics, lifting, mechanized industrial cleaning, electricity, etc. Project management solutions, knowledge of the facilities and continuous communication between all stakeholders guarantee compliance with delivery deadlines, optimal safety conditions and the quality and reliability of the work.

Safety & Quality

At the heart of our projects



Refusal to clean

The Ortec Group makes individual security and the safety of installations a priority. All of its teams are steeped in this very real culture in the performance of their missions on a daily basis. As such, they apply and share this rigor when carrying out procedures on their clients’ facilities.

Each stage of the maintenance shutdown benefits from the same degree of stringency in ensuring safety, security, production levels, process management and control of environmental impacts.

The Ortec Group designs, along with its customers, bespoke solutions to specifically meet their needs as well as the requirements and standards in force.

General HSE Organization

The HSE shutdown manager is the guarantor of rule enforcement at the work site.

Among other things, he/she defines the work site PHSE. With the help of their team of occupational health & safety officers, he/she ensures the application of rules in the field and coordinates the established safety management system:

  • security reception
  • organization of chats
  • analysis of feedback from the field
  • monitoring inspection planning
  • verification of license compliance
  • risks analysis

Based upon:

  • The various versions of the prevention plan and the preliminary visit of the site
  • The main HSE objectives and key points of the shutdown
  • The operating modes / breakdown of risks


He/she constantly promotes awareness in personnel to meet goals with support from supervisory staff involved in daily safety management in the field.

General management and division managers are also involved through regular visits to the site and by participating in chats, inspections and the analyses of events (hazardous situations, etc.).


A historical expertise

Bipaga onshore

Cameroun 250 people from the Ortec Group per day over five weeks. That’s the number of our employees mobilized for the major 2016 shutdown of the unit at the petrochemical center at Berre.

The N'Kossa offshore platform

Congo The Ortec Group was mandated for the five-yearly shutdown of the N’Kossa platform, which mobilized some 350 people and involved 18 months of preparation, including 30,000 hours of preliminary studies.

The onshore petrochemical center

Etang de Berre – France 250 people from the Ortec Group per day over five weeks. That’s the number of our employees mobilized for the major 2016 shutdown of the unit at the petrochemical center at Berre.