EDF Energy has revealed how it uses Oracle's Primavera project planning tool to deliver thousands of maintenance tasks in the shortest time possible during a planned outage.
The electricity company operates eight nuclear power stations in the UK. Each station has strict and statutory maintenance regimes that can result in downtime - or outage - that is more costly for the business, the longer the outage duration.
A typical, planned outage can last for around 55 days. This can cost EDF "a significant" amount of money - hundreds and thousands of pounds - each day depending on the energy prices, EDF consultancy partner at LSC Group told the UK Oracle User Group's (UKOUG) UK & EMEA Primavera conference in London today.
However, although the ultimate goal is to reduce the outage duration, LSC Group said that EDF's top priority is safety - which cannot be compromised by cost concerns.
EDF's outage life cycle is 24 months long, which includes a preparation phase - for example, resource planning and spares monitoring - through to execution. This is followed by a process review to identify areas of improvement for future outages, to complete the two-year cycle.
Clear and robust planning is needed to ensure the maintenance project is delivered successfully, as the amount of resources can be substantial, and of a complex nature.
During an outage, the number of people working on-site can go from around 500 to 1,500. The workers will also go from being on-site mainly during the day to both days and nights. There is also a large number of tasks to be delivered during an outage - around 15,000 individual activities over 55 days - although not all of these will be complex and require a great deal of planning.