Commercial Sustainability - CAPEX Using Probabilistic Simulation Approach

Gullaksen, Joannes (JG Consultant & Ocean Engineering Services Ltd.)


In many investment projects, the controlling parameters and events may be uncertain, making the investment project associated with risk. In present context, the investment is defined as acquiring an asset for the purpose of obtaining commercial sustainability, where commercial sustainability aims to achieve the balance between economic, environmental and social impacts through the effective management of resources whilst maximizing organizational profitability. The variability of input parameters will be characterized by stochastic distributions, and the probabilistic simulation can predict the financial model behaviors under uncertainties by an output probability distribution. With sensitivity analysis, the system complexity can be reduced and the cause-and-effect relationship can be explained, for example, which model parameters contribute the most to output variability, which parameters are in-significant and can be eliminated from model and which parameters interact with each other. In a traditional investment analysis method, the effect of sensitivity in input variables, is often based on only one variable considered at a time, whereas a probabilistic simulation approach considers the impact of many variables changing at the same time. The uncertainty is incorporated by specifying inputs as probability distributions and specifying any random events that could affect the project. The simulation process consists of successively generating random numbers, used to select from the probability distribution of each uncertain input parameter. In this paper, a financial evaluation model is developed using a probabilistic simulation approach. The asset investment project discussed, is categorized into asset management and capital expenditure (CAPEX) projects. It accounts for variability, uncertainty and risk, both in the costs and benefits associated with the investment opportunity. Investment planning, approval workflow and management method, is only included as necessary for the context, or applicable. Please note, the financial evaluation method, although it is very important, is only one aspect affecting the investment decisions. In the investment planning and capital budgeting process, it consists of complex aspects in the organizational setting, where it become identified, developed, justified and finally approved.

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