UK Project Management Round Up

Power Stakes; Transport Projects; Construction Projects & Reconstruction of Houses of Parliament


UK Project Management Round Up

By Miles Shepherd

Executive Advisor & International Correspondent

Salisbury, England, UK




It is the first day of spring as I write these notes and the weather, after a comparatively warm spell is foul: very cold, heavy rain and intermittent sleet. At least it give us something that we Brits like to discuss. This poor weather concentrates the mind on the UK power supply situation and that revolves around new nuclear so I will remind everyone where we are on that portfolio. Money is a vital component of every projects so we need to look at what is going on in the world of project finance and there have been interesting developments in transport as well as construction so that give a little shape to this report.


First there is some very bad news. Didcot, in Oxfordshire is one of the most important power stations in UK and for a number of years had two stations, the original ‘A’ station; and next door, the newer ‘B’ station. I recall the newer station being built back in the mid-1990s – mainly as I got stuck behind some very slow moving convoys delivering major components of the new turbines. The original coal fired power station closed in 2013 after some 43 years of generating activity under the terms of the Large Combustion Plant Directive.

The plant has been the subject of a major decommissioning project since April 2013 and has proved to be difficult from the start. The top level tasks in the decommissioning Work Breakdown Structure sound straightforward: switching off the power generation supply; disconnecting redundant mechanical and electrical processes and systems; cleaning the drainage system; removal of unused coal and ash stocks from the site; and disconnection of electrical incoming supplies. Only then can the dismantling of the main structures take place.

The main cooling towers were brought down in a controlled explosion in July 2014 once the main disconnecting steps had been completed. The contractors, Coleman & Company were responsible for the demolition and spent weeks cleaning up the debris. They plan to bring down the northern cooling towers and the chimney stack by the end of 201


Cooling towers demolished July 2014, Photo courtesy npower

Tragedy struck on 24th February when half of the 984ft long turbine hall has collapsed, and in its place there is a 30ft high pile of debris, including an estimated 12,000 ton of twisted metal. One person was killed, 4 others injured, one seriously and three remain missing. Fire and Rescue crews used a drone with sensitive listening equipment scan the debris in an attempt to pick up any trace of the three missing people. Hope for those missing men has now faded and none have yet been recovered.


To read entire report, click here


About the Author

pmwj35-Jun2015-Shepherd-PHOTOMILES SHEPHERD

Salisbury, UK




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/.