Keeping track of and planning the extensive work involved in Kozloduy's five-year programme requires some complex scheduling.
In 1998, the plant hired Parsons E&C - a US-based engineering and management company - as the project management and control consultant. "The planning and scheduling of the modernisation programme of the nuclear power plant posed a difficult challenge that could not be resolved by using standard low-level planning software," said Oscar Mignone, the company's E&C site and project controls manager.
To develop the integrated schedule for the project, Parsons E&C selected Primavera's project management software packages to create a master and sub-projects scheme. These were structured with a large number of codes to group and select activities that were heavily loaded with the resources and costs. This schedule enabled short-term planning as well as the medium- and long-term forecasting. The resource loading made it possible for Kozloduy to accurately verify the workforce requirements for each task.
The cost of this level of plant modernisation is significant, and there is a complex financing scheme. The programme is projected to cost E212.5 million, 42% of which is being financed through a Euratom loan. Citibank is funding another 16% through an Eximbank loan; Roseximbank from Russia funds another 12%; and the rest of the funding is being provided directly from Kozloduy's own resources. The loans are to be disbursed in instalments as milestones of the programme are completed. This arrangement makes it very important that the project is planned effectively to accomplish critical tasks on time.
The work programme comprises 204 modifications, involving the incorporation of new systems and the improvement of existing components. Each modification can be viewed as a mini-project and, in most cases, relies on the completion of other modifications before it can begin. This interdependency between the modifications adds a further complication to the management of the programme.
The final element to be considered is that a significant amount of reporting is required from the client in order to monitor the progress, confirm milestone completions, and close each project.
Between September 1998 and April 2000, Parsons E&C assisted the client during the basic engineering phase of the project. The overall programme was assessed and a target schedule had to be created. A low-level tool that could only process 200 activities was already in use on site, and the first action was to replace this with a system that could handle and report on the 5000 tasks envisaged in the modernisation project. Parsons E&C installed Primavera project management software, which enabled the entire five-year project to be carefully planned, delivering transparency at every stage of the modification.
The project schedule was finalised using a critical path method by creating a logical network for each modification. This allows the schedule to be adjusted quickly if there was a change in the key dates, if input was delayed or if permits were not received on time.
The true results of the planning and scheduling process will not be known until the programme reaches completion in 2005. However, at present the signs are that the modernisation project is within its allocated timeframe and budget.
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