Additional Process Industries
Baker & O’Brien has worked on a full range of nitrogen based fertilizer projects around the world including ammonia, ammonium nitrate and urea plants. Our experience over the past 15 years has enabled us to comprehend the fertilizer market in the world today. Additionally, we have also worked in many other industries that are unrelated to the energy industry, e.g., pulp and paper, paint manufacturing, alumina, mining solvent extraction, cement and concrete.
- Asbestos Exposure Litigation
Assisted a manufacturer of industrial equipment in defending personal injury claims related to asbestos exposure. Assisted in discovery, assessed the likelihood and degree of employee exposure to asbestos during maintenance activities, and reviewed equipment specifications, project histories, and maintenance records for various power generation units. Provided opinions regarding the potential for personal injury due to asbestos exposure in the course of normal work activities.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Safety, Toxic Tort
- Asphalt Market Study
Provided a financial institution with an assessment of the market for paving asphalt in California. Study focused on current and short-term future markets and included the results of interviews with California paving grade asphalt producers, contractors, and buyers.
- Business Interruption Damages Claim by Concrete Supplier
Assisted in a dispute between a concrete products producer and marketer against an oil refiner for damages allegedly incurred as a result of an incident at the oil refinery. Examined the timeline of the incident and provided an independent damage estimate.
Business Interruption, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
- Conceptual Design of Technical Services Department
Performed a conceptual design of a Technical Services Division for a petroleum refining technology licensing company. The objective was to restructure the company's technology delivery methodology to generate improved gross margins, increase customer satisfaction and retention, and additional products and services. Advised the client on defining the critical aspects of the Technical Services Division and the best approach to designing and implementing the new group structure and function.
- Defective Paint
Evaluated automotive paint and coatings data. Analyzed survey data for paint and coatings system performance when applied by a "big three" automotive manufacturer to determine liability contribution for coating failures. Required understanding of evolution of automotive paint and coating systems. Assisted in evaluation of economic damages resulting from coating application failures.
- Dust Collection System Risk Assessment
Performed a quantitative risk assessment on a dust collection system associated with the multifolder process at a large paper products manufacturing facility. Purpose was to determine if OSHA stipulations were appropriate.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Safety
- Fertilizer Project Due Diligence Assessment
In conjunction with a leading upstream consulting firm, conducted a due diligence assessment of gas resources for the purpose of developing a fertilizer complex associated with onshore and offshore gas production under development. The assignment entailed delineating the quantity and quality of gas resources available to support the prospective fertilizer project and estimating costs to deliver natural gas suitable for producing nitrogen fertilizers to the project.
Fertilizers, Offshore, Pricing, Product Quality, Project Feasibility
- Agrochemicals Manufacturing
Performed due diligence for the purchase of several fertilizer plants on behalf of an investor. These plants manufactured nitrogen fertilizers, phosphate fertilizers, methanol, and other related industrial chemicals. Inspected company assets, assessed technology, analyzed feedstock and product markets, reviewed contracts, evaluated capital investment programs, and analyzed comparative manufacturing economics.
- Manufacturing Facility and Plant Evaluation
Performed an on-site assessment of a pipe manufacturing facility to determine operational viability. Key assessments made on mechanical integrity and reliability of the process equipment, technical understanding and organizational strength of facility personnel, and related operational issues.
Physical Asset Appraisal, Project Feasibility
- Paper Coating Plant Project Finance
Served as independent engineer on behalf of a major financial institution for the construction of a new $100 million paper coating plant. Prepared due diligence, assessed technology, evaluated project scope of work and schedule, reviewed engineering, procurement, and construction contracts, and advised bank with respect to mitigation of project risks.
Commercial Terms Review, EPC-related, Project Feasibility
- Pulp and Paper Mill Incident
Analyzed processing operations and engineering design in a pulp and paper mill to determine sequence of events and possible causes of incident.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Safety
- Polybutylene Pipe Litigation
Assisted municipal water districts in asserting claims for tens of millions of dollars in damages resulting from defective polybutylene pipe. Assisted in discovery, evaluated research and development records, reviewed state-of-the-art issues, and provided expert testimony.
Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Pipeline, Product Quality
- Retail Marketing Business Development
Assessed Mid-Continent petroleum retail markets and competitive environment on behalf of a prospective retail market entrant. Pro forma economics were prepared for various retail business configurations to determine entry strategy options and assess the client's development objectives.
- Refining Market Forecast
Investigated business interruption claims from fuels refineries, lube refineries, cement plants, fuels distributors, and chemicals manufacturers due to the closure of marine access following the release of oil into the waters surrounding the plants.
- World Scale Alumina Refinery - Independent Engineer
Teamed with a mining consulting firm to provide independent engineering support to lenders of a world-scale, multi-billion dollar grassroots alumina refinery to be located in Guinea, West Africa. Reviewed project execution plan and entire design package for the proposed facility, including alumina refinery, power plant, import/export facilities, and all associated infrastructure. Prepared several interim reports during the initial engineering phase before project was abandoned due to political unrest within the country.
- Failure Analysis of Pressure Washer
Evaluated the cause of a failed hot water pressure washer used during a road construction project.
- Dust Explosion Capability Testing
Provided assistance in testing of explosiveness of resin dust during the operation of hand tools in a confined space. Dust test results were videotaped and used for litigation support.
- Tube Sheet, Flare Tip Matter
Investigated the cause of tubesheet and flare tip damage related to an unplanned sudden shutdown of the facility. Evaluated whether damage was caused by the shutdown, long-term wear, or contractor error during installation. Provided expert support through mediation and settlement efforts.
EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
- Due Diligence of a Lube Re-Refining Facility
Conducted a due diligence analysis of technical and economic features of a lube oil re-refining plant involving a potential acquisition.
- Reorganization of Crude Oil Trading Business
Analyzed crude trading business for potential reorganization.
Project Feasibility, Waterborne/Marine
- Wholesale Trade Practices
Assisted a South American national oil company in reviewing trade practices for the wholesale marketing of petroleum products. Advised the client on wholesale price formation and marketing practices in free markets.
- Commercial Contract Negotiations
Assisted with supply contract disputes relating to “take-or-pay” type obligations and “price adjustment” provisions.
- M&A in the Cement Industry
Performed acquisitions (share and asset) with hands on accountability for economic valuations, financial and market analysis, development of strategic rationale, approval documentation / presentations, deal negotiation, due diligence, legal agreements, and management and integration planning.
- Fuel Contamination Investigation
Investigated an occurrence of contaminated diesel fuel at a mine facility, as well as the claimed property damage and business interruption claims. Assessed the root cause of the fuel contamination and prepared a presentation of our findings.
- Nitrogen Manifold Failure
Provided litigation support for nitrogen manifold explosion.
- Post-incident Equipment Preservation Review
Assisted client by assessing preservation techniques and "mothballing" efforts following the catastrophic failure of a vessel at a specialty products company. Incident resulted in an insurance claim for damaged equipment and idled equipment in the vicinity of the vessel failure. Efforts included assessing preservation techniques utilized at the plant compared to industry practices, developing an expert report, and providing expert testimony.
- Paper Mill Safety Incident
Assisted attorneys by investigating the circumstances concerning an incident that occurred at a paper plant during a scheduled turnaround that resulted in a fatality. Issues studied included assessing work practices and safety procedures utilized to prepare equipment for turnaround activities, including vessel entry and paper mill plant design.
Forensic Analysis , Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Safety