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The Acid Test

18 March 2011

Among the largest support services contracts in the UK, the partnership between BP Hull and Interserve, won the PFM Award 2010 for Partners in FM - Manufacturing in one of the most safety and business critical environments in the country

THE SALTEND CHEMICAL COMPLEX on the north side of the Humber estuary is dominated by the BP chemical works. Interserve’s partnership with BP Hull began on this site in August 1999 with the provision of a range of industrial services supporting the activities in a highly complex,safety critical site. Ten years on the relationship has become one of the largest support services contacts in the UK, with Interserve delivering combined industrial services and total FM package worth £14m which sees it and BP working together as a single delivery team.
The Saltend Chemical Park in Hull is owned and operated by BP and supports some seven global manufacturing units. Two of these belong to BP making Europe’s largest supply of acetic acid (500,000 tonnes a year) - enough to fill 1.9 bn jars of pickled onions). The site comprises of a diverse range of buildings and facilities ranging from office environments through to workshops, canteen, messing facilities, reception and Lambert House, which is BP’s hotel based just outside the Saltend site.
Traditionally, the diverse industrial and facilities services necessary to support the site were provided by individual specialist organisations such as instrument technicians, pipefitters, welders, electricians, scaffolders, painters, insulators, joiners, caterers, cleaners, gardeners, security, maintenance engineers and many others. Each of these had their own interface with BP managers and worked with their own priorities and schedule in mind. BP wanted a different approach and in Interserve they found their ideal partner.
Interserve’s relationship with BP began with the award of a three-year contract to manage and deliver a range of specialist industrial services including project management, design and procurement, plant repair and maintenance, mechanical and pipework fabrication and installation, electrical and instrumentation installation, civil engineering and construction, building services, scaffolding, thermal insulation and industrial coatings. This contract gave BP a single point of contact for all its industrial services requirements and was extended in 2003 for an additional five years.
However, in 2008, the site underwent a significant restructure and the BP team looked at the potential benefits of combining all industrial and FM services under a single supplier in such a way that BP could achieve their goal and establish a partnership that would deliver best in class support for the site. Interserve presented an FM strategy that projected a £2.5m saving over just 30 months under a combined industrial and FM structure.
At the same time, BP engaged Interserve on a year trial to understand its capabilities in delivering full-site support services. These included evaluation of:
● its operation of an HVAC contract that achieved efficiency savings of 15 percent and significantly improved service delivery
● its capability in delivering large volume civil works including a £0.7m land clearance project ● and its deliver of a civil works project worth over £1.5 m.
Following this exercise, in April 2009, a new £14m contract was awarded to Interserve, without need for tender, to deliver a complete support services solution across the 370-acre, BP Saltend site.
Today, Interserve works as a strategic partner with BP, with a fully integrated delivery team that combines Interserve and BP resources and supports the BP vision to develop the Saltend Plant into a world class chemical park. This service delivery model is considered a flagship within the BP portfolio.
Interserve and BP work together as true partners through a single Delivery Team that comprises representatives from both organisations. All members have clearly defined roles and responsibilities but also have interlinking reporting paths. There is an integrated management capability with a clear chain of communication. BP employees often report to an Interserve employee, and vice versa.
A key philosophy of the partnership is to reduce the £ cost per tonne of BP’s output by reducing their overall operating cost at site.
Team briefing sessions are held daily to discuss all aspects of Interserve’s service delivery including outages, civils and FM related challenges. This ensures a full understanding of all the individual requirements of this complex support services package and ensures that all parties are kept fully informed. Interserve and BP also engage in a joint partnering meeting three times a year, covering issues such as commercial, KPI and PR (Productivity Ratio) performance.
Health and safety plays a critical role at BP Hull. Interserve is a leader in H&S and at BP Hull. It has some 44 key initiatives in place under the partnership arrangement, all of which are implemented and managed by H&S representatives from both parties. Interserve follows a bespoke Safety Auditing System which includes an electronic reporting and tracking system, Traction, for every near miss. This is supported by weekly Tool Box Talks covering both site related issues and lessons learnt.
Significant training has been undertaken to improve the skill sets of Interserve’s 175-strong team of workers, enabling them to deliver all the additional services on site. HVAC engineers have been trained to become electricians and plumbers have been trained to conduct legionella testing. Interserve has saved BP more than £12,800 on these tests alone, creating
savings by reducing the amount of subcontractors deployed on site. Interserve also operates an Apprenticeship Programme to encourage potential new skills into the work force.
Interserve is delivering a combined industrial and FM Services package which will save BP Hull a projected 15 percent (£2.5m) over the term of the contract, with all services directly delivered by Interserve employees.
It has implemented an integrated IT solution to directly manage internal systems. This includes ‘i-plan’ Interserve’s best-in-class shutdown system, enhanced to allow allocation of labour, which directly interfaces with the client’s systems and a new bio-metric clocking system, improving labour efficiency and timemanagement reporting and enabling Interserve to deliver a more effective pay roll system and HR support to its employees. Its Scaffolding Management System also enables ad effective asset utilisation.
A number of other large-scale manufacturing companies including Ineos, Vivergo and Nippon Goshei operate from the Saltend site. Each has traditionally had their own supplier arrangements. However, by promoting the benefits of the Interserve/BP service delivery model and capitalising on Interserve’s ability to maximise economies of scale through its national supplier network, the team has been successful in delivering a number of services to these third party organisations. This has led to an additional revenue stream for BP. There is also a joint bidding team, which has fluid membership depending upon the particular skill set and experience required for each particular bid.

The judges said: “Interserve was challenged with the requirement for a flexible but very skilled work force, and they put together a very thorough recruitment programme to establish 1,300 people on their books with specialist skill sets needed for complex chemical facilities and cleaning processes,” and “There is a strong sense of pride amongst Interserve staff that they are contributing to BP’s business goals.”

At BP Hull Interserve delivers:
● Insulation ● Access ● Civils ● Painting ● Joinery ● Asbestos ● Mechanical ● Electrical ● Shutdown and project management ● Catering ● Management and hospitality services at Lambeth House – a 14 bed hotel and conference facility for BP employees ● Cleaning (all areas) ● HVAC ● Plumbing ● Water testing ● Taxi service ● Pest control (full site) ● Water machines ● Reception (main gatehouse) ● Helpdesk ● Induction centre (visitor induction, security clearance and passes) ● Vending ● Reprographics ● Key cutting ● Security maintenance ● Stationery supply ● Healthcare services ● General handyman duties ● Site portering ● M&E ● Gas boiler maintenance (industrial maintenance for whole site) ● Laundry (all site flame retardant boiler suits) ● PPE supply ● Postal services (courier, stamps and stationery) ● Internal and external landscaping.

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