Infrastructure Projects, Transatlantic Sports, a Post Project Review, an International Scandal, Falling Beechnuts and the End of Summer in UK


UK Project Management Round Up

By Miles Shepherd

Executive Advisor & International Correspondent

Salisbury, England, UK


Well, here we are at the end of the Summer but not quite in the Winter. Not only is the season changing but the Project World is also in a state of flux. This month we have news of UK infrastructure projects, sports projects that link across the Atlantic and a major scandal in Germany that affects project managers everywhere. There has also been a development in a major project involving multiple owners that completed several years ago.


Infrastructure projects always attract a lot of passion in our very crowded land so it comes as no surprise that the rumour that Britain is to sign a deal with China to build a prototype reactor in Essex stirred up comment. According to Press reports, the deal, which would see the first Chinese-designed and operated facility in the West, is part of the price for Chinese finance for two other reactors. This news comes just a week after the French operator EDF admitted that the new reactor at Hinkley Point, one of the two new reactors it is due to build, has been delayed until 2014. This is more than just a little contingency consuming delay as the reactor was originally due to be up and running by 2017. EDF blame the latest delays on financing uncertainties but there have been the EDF design problems, too, as faults have been found at Flamanville. “It is a serious fault, even a very serious fault, because it involves a crucial part of the nuclear reactor,” according to Pierre-Franck Chevet, head of France’s nuclear safety inspectorate.

A report in April in The Independent claimed that a second investigation had been ordered into the quality of the steel used to make the “pressure vessel”, which encloses the ground-breaking reactor near Cherbourg. If the steel proves to be defective, the completion of the prototype EPR plant could be delayed for several years. The concern is that the same manufacturing techniques had been used in the steel for the identical safety casings destined for Hinkley Point, which “have already been manufactured”

All this is bad news for the French nuclear industry which draws considerable support from the French Government. It seems the French overseas nuclear construction has had a bad time for the past few years. The Olkiluoto No 3 reactor, in Finland, has been plagued by controversy with main operators Areva shutting down construction after a dispute over compensations and unfinished automation planning. This shifted full operations back from 2016 to sometime in the period 2018–2020. Current cost estimates put the full cost of construction at about €8.5 billion, compared with the revised original estimated delivery price of €3 billion. This would mean that the Olkiluoto reactor would be the world’s fifth or sixth most expensive structure, exceeding even the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.

EDF already have an unenviable record of project failure with their plant at Flamanville, France, running up an eye-watering trebling in cost and a six year schedule delay. The Hinkley Point reactor is twice the size of Flamanville. Does this mean we can expect a six-fold cost increase over original and a 12 year delay? Looks like EDF are already well into the delay and have upped the cost estimate several times already.


To read entire report, click here



About the Author


pmwj36-Jul2015-Shepherd-PHOTOMILES SHEPHERD

Salisbury, UK

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Miles Shepherd is an executive editorial advisor and international correspondent for PM World in the United Kingdom. He is also managing director for MS Projects Ltd, a consulting company supporting various UK and overseas Government agencies, nuclear industry organisations and other businesses. Miles has over 30 years’ experience on a variety of projects in UK, Eastern Europe and Russia. His PM experience includes defence, major IT projects, decommissioning of nuclear reactors, nuclear security, rail and business projects for the UK Government and EU.   Past Chair and Fellow of the Association for Project Management (APM), Miles is also past president and chair of the International Project Management Association (IPMA). He is currently Director of PMI’s Global Accreditation Centre and the Chair of the ISO committee developing new international standards for Project Management and for Program/Portfolio Management. He was involved in setting up APM’s team developing guidelines for project management oversight and governance. Miles is based in Salisbury, England and can be contacted at [email protected].

To view other works by Miles Shepherd, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/miles-shepherd/.