Chemical Plant Contractor is Sued Following Extensive Cost Overruns

    Process Engineering Expert Witness

    This case involves a dispute between the owner and the contractor for the construction of a large chemical plant. The defendant won a commercial bid for an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract for plaintiff’s petrochemicals plant, but fell behind schedule and ultimately produced a project that was $400 million over budget and more than 21 months late. The plaintiff alleges that the defendant fraudulently misrepresented its capabilities and personnel prior to the contractual agreement and brought in undermanned and inexperienced engineering teams which caused delays and process errors. An expert in process engineering was sought to review the analysis carried out by the defendant, review the P&ID information and assess its level of design maturity, determine key changes, examine warranty standards, and opine on findings.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Please briefly describe your experience in the process engineering field.
    • 2. Do you have specific experience leading the process engineering design on a major down-stream chemical process plant? If so, please explain.

    Expert Witness Response E-010939

    My career spans 45 years as a consulting engineer in design and construction of petroleum refineries and petrochemical plants. I provide front-end engineering and design developing PFDs, P &IDs, solve existing environmental permitting and product quality problems, assist in purchasing major equipment and construction, generate equipment data sheets and engineering drawings, and assist in finding technical people. Much of my work originates at executing process simulators: I have used Simsci’s PROCESS 4.01, ASPENPLUS, and HYSYS. I have been using Winsim’s DESIGNII (Chemshare) for the last 30+ years in petroleum refining (crude oil distillation, reforming, hydrotreating), ethylene (feed preparation, quench, recovery and concentration), fine chemicals (mercaptan, formaldehyde, DME, chlorinated solvents), reforming processes (hydrogen, ammonia), fuel ethanol using azeotropic distillation, gas processing turbo-expander, JT, compression, distillation. I have represented clients with EPA and state regulatory agencies on compliance order and similar matters. I have prepared and certified air emissions inventories and wastewater permit applications. I am familiar with regulations pertaining to processing, storage and transportation of toxic chemicals in the U.S.A. For chemical manufacturing projects under $10 MM, I have managed entire engineering for the job. I have handled project change orders and negotiating overruns. Engineering on one plant was recently completed for producing ethanol in a midwestern state.

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