Large-scale customer projects require a broad range of skills and knowledge of different industries and how they are developing. Comatec draws on its extensive experience, expertise and deep understanding of business practices to offer project management services tailored to each customer’s needs. By outsourcing project procurement or other tasks to Comatec, companies can focus on the core areas of their business, confident in the knowledge that they are receiving top-notch service and will save on project costs.
In March 2020, Comatec and nuclear waste management company Posiva entered into partnership for design, supervision of manufacture, deployment, project management and procurement related to a capsule transfer and installation vehicle (CTIV) for spent nuclear fuel. Posiva will be responsible for the use of the vehicle. Two design phases of the project have so far been completed. The procurement and manufacturing phases are ongoing.
Procurement firmly on target despite the pandemic
In the first, procurement phase of the project, the goal was to identify suppliers for the main components of the vehicle, put them out to tender and provide the customer with a recommendation for the selection of suppliers. In addition, a preliminary survey was carried out to identify suitable manufacturers of the vehicle itself.
“It was clear from the outset that there were no Finnish companies that could manufacture the main components. Travel abroad was ruled out on account of the measures taken to tackle the pandemic, so both the initial planning and all the negotiation had to be done remotely. In addition, the stringent requirements for the main components eliminated some suppliers early in the tendering process. However, for all the main components, we received enough eligible bids to enable use to make selection recommendations by autumn 2020,” Heikkilä says.
In the second phase, the aim was to place final orders for the main components and begin the tendering for the vehicle itself during spring 2021. Orders for the main components were placed early in the year, and the tender for the vehicle was launched in the spring so that the supplier could be chosen by the autumn.
Procurement negotiations with the participating machine shops were held during the summer and early autumn of 2021.
The third phase of the project is the manufacturing of the vehicle, and is already underway. The manufacturer has now been decided on as planned, and preparation of the necessary documentation and orders for materials have begun. The vehicle is scheduled for completion during 2022.
Collaboration has gone very smoothly, both between Comatec’s various teams and with the customer. Procurement is not usually as closely linked to design as in the Comatec model, as the party in charge of procurement is often from another organization. Working within the same organization and close to the design team, Comatec’s procurement department can react more quickly to changes and any setbacks that might arise. After all, in large projects communication is the key factor in staying on budget.
Neither has the excellent project management gone unnoticed by the customer. Heikkilä has worked hard to ensure that procurement proceeded as quickly as possible. He also maintains communication between Comatec and the selected suppliers, which has helped greatly in dealing with obstacles that arose in design.
“Harri has been attending the weekly planning meetings to ensure that the procurement team has the information it needs at all times. This arrangement has been crucial in keeping the whole project on schedule,” says Andrei Kotliar, Comatec’s engineering manager for the project.
In the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) service model, Comatec is the overall project coordinator. We carry out the basic design, tendering, contract negotiation, technical implementation and supervision of the overall delivery. The training and commissioning of the plant are also included in the scope of supply. The benefits of the service model for the customer include overall cost savings of as much as 10 to 20 percent compared to the conventional engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) model, better control over the project scope, and clearer lines of responsibility.
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