National wind projects and the international supply chain

February 6, 2023 | 5 minute read
Rogier Roelvink
Insight Program Director
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Delivering a large national offshore wind power program, as is currently underway in Japan, is an undertaking with significant impact and reliance on the global supply chain for wind power generation.

These types of national programs always attract international interest, especially where the program is part of a global movement in renewable energy. The success of the program relies heavily on the contractors appointed to create the offshore wind farms and their ability to secure equipment and components from a relatively small pool of global manufacturers and providers.

Technology can play a significant role in mitigating risk and managing project performance by providing visibility, as well as control of risk and progress throughout all project phases and the entire supply chain.

The challenges

Experience shows us that engineering and construction projects can be held back by disconnected systems, which often create multiple versions of the truth and generate huge amounts of manual and duplicative data entry. With disconnected systems, it is difficult to confirm progression status or maintain an audit trail of who did what, when, and why.

This challenge is exacerbated when the disconnected disparate systems are operated by stakeholders across multiple time zones, jurisdictions, currencies, and languages. It is imperative to establish technology solutions that deliver visibility while also enabling collaboration, compliance, consistency, efficiency, flexibility, scalability, and transparency.

In addition to the overall governance challenge created by disconnected systems, the typical engineering and construction delivery challenges also remain. They cover all aspects of safety, cost, and schedule control as well as an increasing emphasis on sustainability measures.

The right technology tools will enable both project owners and delivery teams to become more productive and efficient while at the same time making potentially huge improvements in terms of time, cost, quality, and sustainability.

Aspiring capabilities

Looking at global good practice, the overriding capability provided by technology is that of risk management through visibility, knowledge, and insight. Fully connected smart construction and engineering platforms offer the capability to connect multiple data sources and use analytics, reporting, and monitoring techniques to manage your risk much more proactively.

What if, for example, you could assess a schedule provided by a contractor and determine the likelihood of that schedule being delayed, including identification of which activities are most likely to cause that delay based on historic data?

What about monitoring correspondence through natural language processing for early identification of potential health and safety issues before they become a reportable issue? This is already a reality today in some languages.

Ultimately, the introduction of a smart connected technology solution must, in all cases, provide a return on investment that can be quantified. However, it is even more valuable to reduce project duration by a sizeable percentage due to better schedule visibility and proactive schedule management. You also can reduce contractor and subcontractor cost by better packaging of materials and service from improved predictability and pipeline visibility and certainty.

Also consider the overall project cost reduction and margin improvements from a reduction in ambiguity between drawings, which reduces the number and value of costly variation and changes. All of this is possible with a smart construction and engineering platform connecting and combining the strengths of industry specialist technologies.

Today’s possibilities

Even if you are at the start of your engineering and construction digitalization journey, significant improvement in productivity, efficiency, safety, risk management, and cost reductions can be made. The right technology solution provides teams with improved granularity and accuracy of data and information.

Typical retrospective periodic reporting, as provided through monthly reports, are nothing more than a nicely articulated write-up of what has happened in the past. This leaves decision-makers with little to no influence to make positive changes.

Improved granularity and accuracy of up-to-date and real-time data as afforded with technology solutions provides the ability to see what is happening on a project right now, from daily activities scheduling to progress tracking through remote drone footage. Technology solutions exist to give you the ability to track and monitor resources, materials, equipment, and risk on site remotely.

wind energy

Holistic project governance with technology

Global industry good practice dictates that success of projects, irrespective of your definition of project success, is only truly achieved when the blanket technology solution of the project between owner and delivery teams covers all aspects of the project.

Good practice recognizes that owners and delivery teams, though aligned and contractually bound, will have differing priorities and interests when it comes to good practice project management and governance.

Typically, the biggest differences between owner and delivery teams are prevalent in areas like:

  • Portfolio, resource, risk, and schedule management
  • Business management
  • Delivery management
  • Preconstruction and procurement
  • Payment management

Even though there are differences between owner and delivery teams, the right tools connected to a smart engineering and construction platform, configured to suit the different drivers of all parties is called an ecosystem, a coherent connected suite of smart technologies.

At Oracle, we pride ourselves on our specialist construction and engineering solutions and we would therefore welcome the opportunity to explore with you how our solution affords you the opportunity to benefit from the use of our advanced technology.

The Oracle Smart Construction Platform combines our industry-trusted applications with a common data environment and an ecosystem of partners to help owners and delivery teams work together and continuously improve performance. The platform connects teams and data, synchronizes work, and empowers individuals to make informed, proactive decisions. Power performance with proven Oracle Construction and Engineering solutions for scheduling, portfolio management, construction project management, project controls, construction payment management, and more.

Read more about sustainability in construction and engineering:

Oracle helps industries transition to a low-carbon economy

Q&A: A sustainable conversation with Oracle CSO Jon Chorley

Sustainability practices a priority at new UK Oracle Industry Lab

Building a defense against climate change is a matter of national security

Take a tour of the Oracle Industry Lab

How collaborative planning shapes construction of renewable energy project

Rogier Roelvink

Insight Program Director

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