Solomon Advisory Services

Capital Investment Analysis

The Q1 Day 1™ analysis service can help you mitigate the risk of capital investment in new and expanded facilities and protect and even enhance the return on investment of your capital projects.

Project budgets and schedules, not future operations, are typically the focus of facility design. This focus can result in greenfield refineries and chemical plants not performing to their full capability, or brownfield facility expansions that are not well integrated with existing facilities.

Q1 Day 1 reduces the five most common risks that you face in refinery and chemical plant construction and expansion, including:

  • Inadequate plant design
  • Inefficient design of new organization structure
  • Bloated staffing plans
  • Lack of key performance indicators/competitive operating costs
  • Excessively long start-up and initial operating period

Forces of Project Failure

Old operational practices can limit the full potential of new equipment. The Q1 Day 1 process can ensure your project attains first-quartile (Q1) or “best-in-class” performance by identifying new practices you should adopt to guarantee optimal performance on day one of operations startup.

The service helps you avoid the four forces of failure in project development:

  • Unchallenged assumptions
  • Overconfidence
  • Tunnel vision
  • Functional segregation

Capital investments, including new plant commissions and equipment reconfigurations, are significant events for most companies. However, finding applicable start-up experience in-house can be a challenge. Many stakeholders also are unclear about what to expect regarding a facility’s start-up and initial performance.

Independent Project Review

This process involves application of the Q1 Day 1 Comparative Performance Analysis methodology and use of the information in Solomon’s proprietary, world-class industry database to evaluate the anticipated performance of major capital projects. Solomon conducts a “cold-eyes” review to examine design data, then calculates performance metrics for a proposed facility on a pro forma basis.

Solomon’s independent project review expertise can be applied to all or part of a project’s life cycle, including:

  • Strategic planning
  • Technology selection
  • Scope definition
  • Design and construction
  • Commissioning
  • Startup

Q1 Day 1 can also be utilized to optimize facility staffing plans during startup, during the first 1 to 2 years of operation, and after the first turnaround.

Why Q1 Day 1?

Q1 Day 1 is not just a data exercise. Solomon’s experienced consultants collaborate with you to improve your facility design and operational readiness. We offer an independent perspective supported by data gained from benchmarking 85% of the world’s refining capacity, 75% of its olefin manufacturing capacity, and 60% of its aromatics capacity. This perspective goes beyond that of an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) or technology licensing firm to predict future operational performance based on best practices and real operational data.

After launch, the majority of new and expanded facilities worldwide will enter one of Solomon’s benchmarking studies. Your project can benefit not only from Q1 Day 1 analysis but from our benchmarking, allowing you to measure project performance in years to come.


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Solomon’s wide-range risk analysis, independent expert insight, and planning and alignment reviews can help you build the foundation you need for future success.

Read here to learn more about how the Q1 Day 1 process works