The prestigious surroundings of the Ironmonger Hall provided the backdrop for the latest ICW knowledge sharing event. Our thanks to BAM Nuttall who sponsored the day and to the speakers who provide a varied perspective on the energy sector.
Louise Kingham OBE FEI is Chief Executive of the Energy Institute (EI), the leading professional body for energy, which promotes excellence by developing knowledge, skills and good practice in the global energy sector.
Louise out lined the challenges in the UK Upstream Oil and Gas business that a sub-$50 bbl oil price brings and it was important for the industry as a whole to respond quickly, effectively and to be smarter with less to improve its efficiencies and simplify the way it works to survive in an aggressive world energy market Working together with other operators, it is possible to pool resources, collaborate to reduce cost loading to the individual organisations for key critical operations by establishing a shared common position of good practice.
Mike Dyson, director in the global Oil & Gas segment of Navigant's Energy Practice, reiterated the challenges for the Oil & Gas sector but that collaboration was not well understood across, Governments and Agencies, Industry Partners, Supply Chain, Communities and Third parties bot from a formal and informal perspective, his theme being ...recognition that we will fail or succeed together.
Professor Simon Hogg, Executive Director of the Durham Energy Institute, highlighted how Durham through its Energy Institute was endeavouring to help face significant global challenges in the energy domain, including Future energy security, creating sustainable low carbon energy systems, developing affordable energy services, reducing the risks associated with new energy technologies. This requires interdisciplinary knowledge and collaboration between academia, industry, government and society.
Paul McCracken, Business Development Manager Major Projects and Rail Sector at BAM Nuttall Ltd, outlined how BAM Customers wanted to collaborate and how the company recognised the potential benefits of adopting BS 11000 but wanted to ensure it was not just a piece of paper it HAD to add value to all parties. The BAM approach was to adopt a process right across the business starting with the customers, understanding their requirements and aligning them with BAM's. He presented an number of cases where collaboration had been a major success factor including; Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Blackwall Tunnel, Borders Railway, Chiswick Bridge, RNLI and Cow Lane Reading.
Ross Dornan, Lead Business Adviser at Oil & Gas UK, highlighted how Oil & Gas had been traditionally a highly competitive sector which now had to explore new ways of working, requiring significant cooperation and collaboration. Wood Review: A Blueprint for Maximising Economic Recovery identified the need for "Greater constructive collaboration across industry". A lack of collaboration and overzealous legal and commercial behaviours had contributed to increased costs, resulted in project delays and cancellations which had led to reduced hydrocarbon recovery rates and the need for a new, proactive regulator to ensure co-ordination and collaboration to drive cultural change to underpin our success in turning the sector around.
Kyle Martin, Senior Energy UK, Senior Policy Manager, said "The role of a trade association, by its very nature is very collaborative, we have over 80 members including small hydro right the way through to large coal and nuclear power stations. Needless to say, they don't always agree with each other! Part of the work we do is to try and take everyone's views and present a single message to government, due to the range of generators and retail members we consider that a joined up message (through collaborative working) has much more of an impact."
Key Messages from Pathways to 2030 Report was a focus on: Solar and onshore costs falling - subsidy free in the near term, embedded generation coupled with battery storage could be a real game changer, Decentralised energy, with flexible networks, interconnection, smart grids and DSR provides a dynamic future, requirement to use energy more intelligently - energy efficiency and smart meters key to customer engagement. A range of technologies, giving the best opportunity to deliver a secure, low carbon and cost effective power capacity.
Mr Nirmal Kotecha, Executive Director responsible for UK Power Networks' Major Capital Programme and Procurement, offered his perspective on the adoption of collaboration when it supports UKPN principles of being the employer of choice, respected corporate citizen and delivering sustainable efficiency. Relying on its supply chain UKPN saw alliancing as the only way to meet these requirements. The Business Case for Alliancing needs to overcome a number of barriers and recognise that UKPN and the supply chain need to be ready for Alliancing - requires time! The UKPN EDISON Alliance was the culmination of three years of business / supply chain readiness.
The case study presented by BAM Nuttall Agent Darren Main focused on the BAM/Siemens partnership in response to Matching SSE's Aspirations and expectations to set new performance benchmarks for substation delivery focused on four core themes: Behavioural safety transformation, Excellence in design and construction, Value through collaboration and Innovation. The presentation provided insight to the governance that ensure transparency and engagement at all levels to focus on outcomes by focus on the core strengths of the partners.
The Lockheed Martin IS&GS case study centred on their support to Scottish Power where they were experiencing; higher than desired CAPEX spend, EFOR increasing, property damage/repair costs increasing, lower than desired Plant Availability, annual insurance premiums increasing and production stops due to HSE enforcement notice. Alec Harley, Energy Sector Director at Lockheed Martin, highlighted the hurdles and the resulting HSE case study and change in regulation and the journey they had taken based on collaborative working.
Matthew Knight. BEng, CEng, MIET, Director of Energy Strategy and Government Affairs for Siemens plc, offered his perspective based on the developments of wind energy and the challenges for the industry which was tackling new technologies in hostile environment. He referenced key areas where collaboration was crucial including; cost reduction, safety, developing new skills and most importantly how Collaboration is personal.
The panel session that followed facilitated by David Hawkins addressed a number of key issues which centred around the need for education to develop both technical skills and the need to redress the commercials skills around developing contracting approaches that supported collaboration.