How we work

The key to a successful project is to develop a cohesive plan as early as possible, freezing key design features of the port facility as early as possible. Design changes, especially those made well into the construction phase of a project, can cause significant increases in cost.

To minimise potential increases in cost in the later stages, it is essential that project developers do not “cut corners” in the early stages. A better specified design means lower tender prices from contractors and suppliers, and less opportunity for them to claim variations to the contract price. So $1 spent in the design stage can save up to $5 in additional costs in the construction phase, when making the same design change. It also avoids the embarrassment of cost and schedule overruns.

That is our basic ethos.

PED can take a concept and develop that into a defined project for which funding can be raised and regulatory authorizations and approvals can be obtained. But PED approaches projects on a phased basis allowing a client a series of “go/no go” decision points. But PED is equally experienced in undertaking discrete assignments as part of an overall project, such as merely undertaking the project management role, developing scopes of work for the major contract packages or undertaking environmental audits under ISO 14001.

 Projects – From Concept to Operation

 These phases can be defined as:

Project Inception and Pre-Feasibility Study                                                           Phase 1

  • Feasibility Study and Front End Engineering                                               Phase 2
  • Detailed Engineering and Construction                                                          Phase 3
  • Facility Operation, Training, Maintenance                                                     Phase 4

 Project Inception and Pre-Feasibility Study (Phase 1)

Port developments can start with little more than an idea in someone’s head. PED can take that idea and, with its experience, produce an initial concept design of a facility. With its’ knowledge of shipping and shipping developments, the design will take into account the likely operational requirements (size and draught of ships, market demand, etc) over the full design life of the facility.

The design will also take into account the construction and maintenance costs of the facility, but at the same time allowing for possible expansion in the future.

Initial financial projections for the port and its operations will be made to verify that the facility would an economically viable proposition.

The work can also include a full market analysis to support the financial projections.

The deliverable will be formal report to the client which can then be used for:

  •  making the investment decision
  • initial planning and other regulatory approvals

as well as being the control document for the next phase.

 Feasibility Study and Front End Engineering (Phase 2)

 PED has the capacity to undertake the formal feasibility study, and project manage specialist engineering companies who would undertake the

  •  front end engineering, cost estimate and project schedule
  • surveying (soil and hydrographic)
  • Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”)
  • detailed market appraisal, and
  • legal investigations.

PED is also experienced in working with investment banks in order to raise the necessary funding for a facility, whether it is equity or debt that is required.

Clients can decide on how they wish this phase to be handled. PED has relationships with many companies and therefore can either put in a combined proposal for all this work, or can act merely as the client’s project manager. In the latter case, PED can prepare all the necessary documentation and manage every aspect required to prequalify, invite proposals/tenders, and ultimately award, those of these contracts that might be required.

It is during this phase that long lead time items should be identified, and initial work should be done in order to minimize any schedule effects on the overall project schedule, such as agreeing specifications with equipment suppliers and having formal quotations from them. There are key considerations of capital cost versus on-going operational and maintenance costs that must be decided upon at this stage. Often projects are driven by capital costs alone, which actually result in much higher full life costs.

It is during this phase that the contract strategy will be agreed for the detailed design and construction of the facility. The broad choice of contract strategies are:

  •  full turnkey construction under one single contract,
  • project management with one or more “Engineering, Procurement and Construction” (“EPC”) contracts, or
  • full Project Management and Engineering with multiple construction and supply contracts.

There are disadvantages and advantages of each approach, and therefore it is important to decide on the most appropriate for the particular project in question, but this has to be tied into the funding structure of the project.

The other critical element of this phase is securing the funding for the project. Funding can be found from a number of sources, be they strategic partners or funding institutions. Almost certainly, any funders will want to undertake “Due Diligence” on the project and PED is well versed in the skills required to manage such in-depth review of projects.

The completion of this phase is when the front end engineering design (“FEED”) is complete, all the necessary permitting is received and the funding is secured, and construction contacts signed.

Detailed Engineering and Construction (Phase 3)

PED can fulfil one of two roles during this phase of the project, either:

  •  as the owner’s management team, or
  • by leading an independent project management team.

Depending on which contract strategy has been adopted will largely drive what the scope of PED’s work will be during this phase. At a minimum, PED would verify that all contracted parties were meeting their commitments in terms of specification, cost and schedule on behalf of the facility’s owner.

It is during this phase that PED will define the management systems to operate the port when complete, be they operational or financial. Modern state-of- the-art, but yet proven, systems are essential to the efficient operation of any container terminal.

It is during this phase that PED can start to recruit the key personnel that may be required for the operation and maintenance of the plant. In certain parts of the world it may not be easy to find suitable operatives to man the facility. PED can arrange for training to be provided either on site, at suppliers’ own premises or, in restricted numbers, on third party facilities.

PED has extensive contacts in the shipping world, and therefore can market the facility to the shipping lines and forwarding companies as well as to the providers of the inter-modal links, and, in the event that the facility is intended as a trans-shipment facility also, to the local but smaller terminals.

Facility Operation and Maintenance (Phase 4)

 PED’s staff have operated a number of container and multi-cargo facilities and therefore could manage the operations and maintenance of a facility under a long term contract or until such time as a client has recruited their own management team.

Other Services

  •  Site Appraisals
  • Master Plan Studies & Port Planning
  • Feasibility & Development Studies
  • Due Diligence
  • Expert Witness
  • Institutional Studies & Implementation
  • Market Assessment & Traffic Forecasting
  • Plant & Equipment Selection
  • Port Operations & Management Studies
  • Private Sector Funding of Port Developments
  • Renewable & Offshore Energy
  • Terminal Audits