Commissioning and Startup Services

Sterling Energy provides expert commissioning program development and oversight services to a diverse power industry clientele.  We possess a wealth of recent power plant commissioning experience; Sterling Energy and its principals have managed or served in leadership roles in more than 80 startups totaling more than 45,000 MW.  Drawing on our considerable database of lessons-learned and best practices, we are uniquely positioned to assist our clients in achieving a safe, on time, and cost-effective plant startup.

Because of our extensive capabilities and sensitivity to clients’ needs, Sterling is able to tailor its services to facilitate the commissioning of any power plant during any project phase.  We offer a broad range of both front-end and on-site services including:

Commissioning Estimate – Either by reviewing and refining an existing estimate or preparing a complete work-up, we ensure that all provisions in the request-for-proposal or contract are identified and accurately priced.

Review and Summarize Contract Deliverables  – Precisely defining the client’s commissioning scope of work and establishing scope boundaries between the various project entities.

Program Development – Producing a Commissioning Manual with administrative and technical guidelines for the facility.  This includes, among other things, defining startup systems by scoping P&ID’s and one-line drawings, developing a detailed commissioning schedule, and reviewing design drawings for system operability.

Develop Plans for Major Commissioning Evolutions – Identifying  and/or implementing the optimum approach to HRSG chemical cleaning, high-energy pipe cleaning, lube oil flushes, condenser cleaning and process system flushing/commissioning.

On-site Commissioning Management – Coordinating and directing site commissioning activities beginning with the sequential release of systems from construction through plant acceptance. We also serve as the startup coordinator entity for our owner clients for turnover of projects from EPC contractors at plant acceptance.

Develop Commissioning Cost Controls and Reporting – Including any required sub-contracts, service agreements, commodity procurement, change management and back charge guidelines, cost codes, and reporting protocols.  Costs are tracked and controlled to the approved estimate.

Perform Compliance Gap Analysis – Ensuring that the planned testing regime accommodates all relevant local, state, and federal regulatory requirements.

Re-Commissioning – Evaluating, planning, and executing the restart of mothballed or partially completed plants.

Sterling Energy is different from other commissioning service providers, i.e., “job shops,” in that our project approach is primarily management-oriented.  We specialize in the development of programs emphasizing project planning, cost controls, and optimal staffing.  We aren’t part of construction or plant operations, though we possess expertise in both disciplines.  Our staff consists of professionals with a long history in the power industry and a reputation for getting the job done on time, within budget, and without incident.

We provide either or both of commissioning management services and complete startup services.  We develop project-specific plans to get the job done on time, within budget, and without incident.

Our commissioning management services, sometimes referred to as EPCC project management, often include the provision of one or more of a site manager, construction manager, and startup manager.  Our management scope typically includes, but is not limited to, the services listed below.

  • Provide consulting services for contract management
  • Provide an objective risk analysis
  • Scope P&ID and single line drawings
  • Write detailed field commissioning procedures
  • Write field commissioning test guidelines
  • Customize a commissioning manual for the site
  • Produce a detailed commissioning schedule by system
  • Provide a list of first fills and consumables
  • Manage the site safety program including lockout and tagout
  • Manage and track the project budget to earned values
  • Manage subcontractors to meet project goals and milestones
  • Manage the commissioning and startup budget
  • Manage construction activities to meet project milestones
  • Manage engineering issues related to the RFI process
  • Develop a comprehensive turnover package index package
  • Develop, administer and track the site punch-list
  • Coordinate third party testing and performance testing

Our complete startup and commissioning services typically include the following activities:

  • Mobilize a complete startup staff consisting of discipline leads, start up engineers, LOTO administrator, turnover package coordinator and startup scheduler
  • Conduct and direct all lube oil flushes using both high velocity and on-board pumps
  • Provide oil, water and fuel lab testing
  • Provide instrumentation calibration
  • Provide high voltage testing in preparation for back feed power
  • Provide base line equipment vibration analysis records
  • Manage the installation of temporary steam blow piping
  • Flush and restore to normal operations all balance of plant piping systems.
  • Conduct and direct all hydro testing including HRSG and conventional fired boilers
  • Startup and commission water treatment plants
  • Supply all test equipment required to conduct startup and testing activities
  • Provide DCS initial start up and tuning services
  • Provide on-the-job training of plant personnel

Read more about our commissioning and start up experience.

For more information please contact Tom Burns.

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