Client Need:

Neptune Bulk Terminals (Canada) Ltd. (NBTL) needed to forecast the maintenance program for the existing potash storage system (108,000 tonnes) at Shed 1, established to a 10-year time horizon. The desired outcomes of the maintenance-program study were to forecast annual costs along with schedule intervals for the works necessary to facilitate continued safe operations, and to mitigate risks of operational interruptions. These results were then used by NBTL as part of the terminal’s master planning development.


CWA was presented with scattered historical maintenance records for the existing storage shed system, representing both quantitative and qualitative data for goods and services executed by the terminal’s in-house labour personnel as well as outside vendors and contractors. The records, as provided, followed no common structure that could be used as a defined basis for trending future maintenance costs to the level of confidence that NBTL sought.


Based on CWA’s expertise and experience, defined categories were established to sort and forecast the historical maintenance events and costs. This included grouping the works by asset and discipline type, and distinguishing between preventative work versus reactive work, and capital work versus non-capital work. Once the data was classified, an analysis was undertaken to identify category-specific trends for maintenance events and activities, and the magnitude of their costs when they occurred. This provided the forecasting basis for annual costs over a 10-year timeline, which also accounted for escalation and inflation.

Project Highlights:

  • Forecasted a maintenance program for an existing 108,000 tonne potash storage-shed system.
  • Applied CWA’s maintenance engineering expertise to evaluate and classify historical maintenance records to determine meaningful trends and cycles of when maintenance events and costs may be expected to occur.
  • Set up a 10-year maintenance schedule and cash flow schedule.
  • Provided materials necessary for commercial business case comparisons between keeping the existing storage system or replacing and upgrading the storage system.