VENTIVESTE – Consortium led by GALP (34%), Martifer (31%) and Enersis (30 %), EFACEC (2%) and REpower (1%).
Senvion S.A. (called REpower Systems SE until 2014) was a German wind turbine manufacturer founded in 2001 in Germany, delivering the full EPC supply including over 100 turbines.
The consortium won the 2nd phase of the Portuguese Public Government tender, consisting in 400 MW distributed through several wind farms including the creation of clustered production facilities in remote regions. The project consisted as implementation of strategic development for the parties.
The development included permitting, grid access rights for several wind farms. Some areas had challenging environmental requirements including construction constrains for protected species and areas, multiple interfacing and crossing with public infrastructure, etc. Grid access had the challenge of buildling a 400 kV substation and overhead line for interfacing the TSO the company REN. Additionally, several other substations and overhead lines needed to be built to interconnect the different projects “Sernancelhe” and “3-Marcos”.
The local Senvion team, took responsibility for the majority of BoP works and turbine supply, including contracting and supervision. The local Portuguese Team needed to ramp up and find a solid combination of profils and own personnel to cope with the management of the 4 projects running in parallel and in a tight deadline.
The plan consisted in putting together a motivated and experienced team, finalize the detail engineering phase, execute the contracting scope definition with the contractors, start construction works as soon as possible in order to avoid the barrier of works during constrained season in order to comply with regulator deadlines.
Perform all pre-studies necessary to kick start the engineering as well as establish high level coordination with TSO specially in regard to grid performance and integration.
Find and engage experienced site supervision team to cope with high pressure and quality requirements from the customer. A difficult challenge would also be the safety management, not only during peak work execution but especially before start of each activity. With 4 projects going almost simultaneously in remote and disconnected areas, the amount of documentation (procedures, insurances, safety training, etc) to be verified and checked daily for workers and companies going in and out of the activities was tremendous.
In order to serve project tight schedule construction started soon, however that would create expected contractor bottlenecks regarding availability of workers and machinery tied in other projects. That challenge could be managed and solutions for acceleration were found.
Initially there were a number of delays caused by activities not starting in due time, documentation submittal and approval process was taking too long and cousing delays. In many cases the worker`s aptitude and registrations could not be verified and it caused construction delays. After a slow start the processes was accelerated and the companies were advised to pre-schedule submittals of documentation and avoid late approval and starts.
The supervision team was very experienced and could coordinate and antecipate contractor issues, including start of activities and sustain high performance and quality levels. The works could generally be executed in quality, in budget and in time.
Strong push and motivation from the team contributed decisively to accelerate and reduce accumulated delays during the 2 years of construction and challenges.
Finally, and mostly important the customer could successfully celebrate bringing this big project online and profit for the long generating value it creates.
Argentina view map
As a part of its strategic development, Envision acquired the development rights of the project Vientos del Secano in the province of Bahia Blanca in Argentina.
The project was the company`s biggest wind farm in south America, consisting in 50 MW. The scope included the full BoP works and a transmission substation for the utility TRANSBA.
The tight overall deadline from the regulator CAMMESA set the frame or the entire development and construction process, making extremely challenging. Additionally the project was being developed at the same time as other local projects, increasing the overall resource bottleneck on all parties. To add up to the total challenge the main contractor was having a series of difficulties in the country and finally gave up the site and the works, leaving it all up to owner to reach the final objective.
The project would also be hit by the world pandemic affecting all works.
The plan consisted in building up a local project team, setting up the processes, the roles and responsibilities, the supply chain, reporting and project steering.
Permitting and grid interfacing engineering needed to be urgently addressed as the TSO for the 123 kV substation demanded a complex decision process and management.
Following the works abandonment of the main contractor, a sudden built up of own resources would be necessary in order to pick up and own the works, supplies and materials as they were left.
Commissioning procedures needed to be adapted and ad-hoc creative solutions put in place to deal with limitations of the COVID crisis and the travel restriction to and from Bahia Blanca area.
In order to serve project timeline and after long and challenging interface discussions with the TSO, fast decisions were taken, leading to increased project scope (extra switching station).
Additional Engineers and Site Managers were hired to manage all subcontractor`s works, left adrift by the leaving contractor.
Specially rented Motorhomes helped minimizing COVID impact, and housed technicians arriving for construction and commissioning. Local travel restrictions would otherwise require long quarantines before entering the region / site.
Remote commissioning procedures needed to be developed and implemented to allow an international team to support the activities on site.
Strong push from all sides contributed decisively to accelerate and reduce the delay expected due to all accumulating challenges.
Finally, and mostly important the customer could successfully celebrate bringing this important milestone projects online and enjoy the returns the asset operation.
EPZ (Elektriciteits Produktiemaatschappij Zuid-Nederland) the Electricity Production Company South-Netherlands, the operator of the coal- and nuclear power plants located in Borssele in the Netherlands.
OVET – Terminal Port Administrator in Vliessingen, administrating coal storage area
Senvion S.A. (called REpower Systems SE until 2014) was a German wind turbine manufacturer founded in 2001 in Germany, delivering the full EPC supply including the 2 x 6M turbines.
The customer approached REpower to deliver a full EPC turn-key project at a harbour location, in the middle of a coal storage area, an area administered by OVET an external 3rd party company. This consisted in the first challenge, install big 6M turbines and perform infrastructure works (access, transport, craning, cabling, foundations) in the middle of a densely covered area with huge 50m height pills of coal and administered by a 3rd party. Any clearance of space would not only take days but also have a considerable financial spending for project. The ground had a covering layer of asphalt for protection of underground infiltration and pollution. Any work needed to critically manage soil pollution risk. One of the biggest challenges however was to plan the execution of the wind farm works around the daily normal operation of the harbour / coal power plant, any project setback could jeopardize the energy delivery of the power plant. Electrically there was also a considerable risk in connecting two (2) powerful turbines to the somehow “weak” 30 kV harbour grid, it could affect the cranes and other used heavy machinery, even the testing of the turbines could impact the stable operation of the entire harbour and power station. On top of all these challenges, it was REpower`s first full scope project with BoP outside of Germany entirely managed by an internal team. The challenges and risk were big as the project moved into execution.
When our customer approached us the challenge was quite clear. Our job consisted in supporting him with a solid, safe design and planning, and execute perfectly. Our team managed the engineering design both civil and electrical, and provided the customer for a basis for a safe planning. On the engineering side the tasks included works specification, tendering, negotiation, contracting. On the project management side the tasks included planning coordination, execution supervision and final taking over.
To minimize impact and risk, the plan consisted in making just enough space between the big pills of coal for the unavoidable access, foundation work and crane assembly, thus minimizing impact inside critical coal area. The plan also considered safeguarding the existing protective asphalt layer, therefore planned for directional underground drilling for the cable trenches. 3 holes over 400m each were necessary to turbines, station and even power an auxiliary building nearby. Long PVC ducting works were performed outside critical area, and then pulled into final position in 1 attempt. Medium voltage, communication, low voltage power supply cables would would then be installed into the PVC ducts. The station and grid operation parameters were carefully evaluated and selected with the local grid operator (Delta), so that testing and operation ramp up had minimal impact on local grid stability.
Implement on site daily activity coordination as at times more than 5 subcontractors would need to work in parallel inside the critical area, and confined space.
The choices made during design enabled a solid planning a good start into execution. It helped our customer keeping the coal power plant operating and minimized the impact on OVET`s moving pills of coal. During drilling the team faced last minute uncertainties as exact information about dept of old buried cables and the risk of drilling through them arose. The results could have been disastrous and the impact on the harbor area and project huge. Still the team managed with help of local sub-contractor knowledge to overcome that barrier and managed the uncertainty. There were minor schedule delays due to whether (snow, rain and ice) conditions but finally the project was successfully installed and both turbines and power plant could operate stability. Mostly important our customer celebrated the great achievement of installing 2 big turbines in the middle of a coal yard and manage to bring it successfully into full operation.
As a part of its strategic development, Envision acquired the development rights of the project Garcia del Rio in the province of Bahia Blanca in Argentina.
The project was the company`s first wind farm in south America, consisting in 50 MW with full BoP works and a shared switching station with local utility EDES.
The tight overall deadline imposed by the regulator CAMMESA public auction, meant the overall project development and construction process needed to be slim and agile, creating a real challenge for permitting and pre-studies specially since the project was being developed together with a pipeline of other projects. To increase the challenge, the project was EDE`S first of its kind connected to their grid, so processes, engineering needed to be coordinated. The final challenge was setting up the asset management services team necessary to operate the wind farm.
The plan consisted in obtaining the necessary permits with the local project team, setup the engineering and sourcing requirements with the central Hamburg team, establish the supply chain including local construction and supervision services. Establish project level reporting and steering.
Perform pre-studies necessary for engineering as well as high level coordination with utility driven by internal local team.
Setup the Operation and Maintenance services, tasks were specified and sourced locally to enable fast response and correction in case of issues.
In order to serve the project`s tight schedule some parts of the supply chain were included in the main contractor`s scope.
Local team was reinforced with engineers and permitting executives, including 3rd party recognized experts and consultants enabling unblocking of administrative barriers. Site Managers assured subcontractor`s work quality.
Remote operation and local maintenance service contracts were created to enable efficient operation and triggering planned / unplanned maintenance of the asset.
Strong push and motivation from the team contributed decisively to accelerate and reduce accumulated delays in construction and supplies.
Finally, and mostly important the customer could successfully celebrate bringing this important first project online and keep the team momentum for the upcoming project Vientos del Secano.