General contractor and balacon are explained as two forms of EPC (Engineering/Procurement/Construction).
This is a concept necessary for large-scale construction that is positioned as a construction project.
When carrying out large-scale construction at a chemical plant, etc., we outsource the work to an external company.
There are two ways to do this, called general control and balacon.
For chemical plant engineers who have projects on a daily basis, this is a familiar problem.
Of course, it will also be a daily problem for plant engineering companies as a general contractor.
I have never been in charge of construction work for general contractors in my 15 years with the company. I’m worried about being in charge of a general contractor because all of them are balconies, but what I do is basically the same. Either way, if you master the basics of engineering, you’ll be able to get the job done.
- EPC (Engineering/Procurement/Construction)
- Difference between general contractor and balacon
- general contractor
The concept of EPC is used in the project.
and divide the project into three categories.
This is also consistent with the difference in the division of resources such as time, cost, and people during the long period of the project.
From the perspective of the project owner, Engineering is the phase where time is spent, Procurement is the phase where costs are spent, and Construction is the phase where people are spent.
EPC is an inseparable relationship between EPC and general contractors.
Difference between general contractor and balacon
I will introduce the difference between a general contractor and a balacon.
I think general contractor stands for gere nal con strcution.
A balacon would be a balcon strcution .
For the owner-engineer, the balcon is the basics, and the general contractor is treated as an external plant-engineer.
I think that a general contractor is good in the sense that it is entrusted to an external company all at once .
In a nutshell
The method of ordering EPC all at once is called a general contractor, but there are also companies that use general contractor-like expressions even for C alone.
If the design method is established for a continuous plant, etc., there may be cases where the order is placed from the FEED, which is the basic design, or the FS before that.
In the case of a batch plant, there are cases where the request is made from the FEED, and there are cases where the request is made from P or only C.
Outsourced by designer
The greatest advantage of commissioning a general contractor is the entrustment of the designer .
When requesting an EPC, the problem with the owner’s resources is people.
If there are enough units on the owner’s side that can do E , there is no problem with in-house engineers.
The idea is to outsource it precisely because it is not.
I have been an owner engineer for over 15 years, but I have never hired a general contractor.
Securing construction workers
Asking a general contractor has the perspective of securing construction workers.
If the construction is of a certain scale, it may be possible to gather people through the connections of cooperating companies that are stationed on the premises.
In the case of large-scale construction that cannot be handled by the company’s connections, let’s borrow the power of a general contractor.
It depends on the physical strength of the owner company, so it varies depending on whether you ask a general contractor for a plant construction class or a small extension or renovation level.
process is common
It would be better to ask a general contractor if the process is general .
This is because the companies that can handle E, which is particularly difficult even in EPC, are limited.
Personally, I can handle petrochemicals and bulk chemicals, but when it comes to batch chemicals, isn’t E quite strict? I think.
Even if you ask for E in a batch plant, the owner will do the FEED properly and bring it to a state where there is virtually no E.
There is also a background that we do not want to disclose our own technology to the outside, and we do not want to make it a black box.
A balacon is the opposite of a general contractor.
If E or P is done in-house like an owner-engineer , it also falls under the category of balcon.
In this case, there are not many cases where C is also ordered all at once .
We build a construction system by raking together the connections of resident subcontractors .
familiar with each other
The greatest advantage of balacons is speed.
We know each other’s work methods, so the business processing speed is fast.
Less people, but faster.
It’s an elite few ideas.
Since E , P , and C are all acquainted with each other, there is a high probability that things will go smoothly.
When the scale is relatively large, the processing of C tends to become difficult.
Specifically, in what point is the speed faster?
- No time required to read and understand large volume of design criteria
- The construction company is familiar with the construction standards such as the method of piping work.
- Understand various events related to projects and construction
It’s easy, no explanation needed.
If you rely on this, it will be difficult when you ask a general contractor.
Strong Procurement Department
Balacon can be made under the condition that P is strong.
If it is a large company, it would be preferable to be in charge of P in-house .
The equipment manufacturer may double the discount amount depending on the company.
This is directly related to the investment amount.
If P is strong in a major company , the benefits of balcon will also come out.
If only E and C are entrusted to the general contractor , and P is done by the owner side, it will not be normal.
P , where money moves the most, is the umami of the general contractor side, and the work that can’t get it is just tough.
low cost of construction
In the case of balcon, construction costs tend to be low.
What general contractors do not have is the cost of temporary workshops, accommodation, and commuting means .
The unit price of the general contractor will move in the higher direction by this cost.
I can experience my work properly
For the owner-engineer, a balcon is an opportunity to get in touch with a wide range of engineering work.
You can experience work properly and grow.
If you ask a general contractor, it will be almost a round throw, and you will not have the opportunity to experience practical work.
If you keep making requests to general contractors all the time after joining the company, you may become an engineer who is just talking.
As an engineer, you want to use your own hands.
Balacon is a good study.
Plant construction is a relatively unknown field as an owner engineer.
Since I rarely come into contact with plant engineering companies, one way to learn is to use the following books.
I explained general contractors and balacons.
This is a familiar problem in construction engineering by owner-engineers.
Let’s use general contractors and balacons properly according to various environments such as the scale of the project and the scale of resources.
It is important to understand the features properly.
Please feel free to post your worries, questions, and questions about the design, maintenance, and operation of chemical plants in the comments section. (The comment section is at the bottom of this article.)
*I will read all the comments and answer them seriously.