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Role of the offshore Wind Logistics Consultant

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Role of the Offshore Wind Logistics Consultant

Below is an outline of talking points regarding the role of a logistics/operational consultant. To organize these points I sketched a basic Project Execution Plan for an offshore wind farm construction and then inserted some of the key elements I envision a logistics consultant either actually performing or selling as value-add to a client. The points broke out into 9 categories.

1. Project Planning

2. Project Preparation

3. Project Execution

4. HSE

5. Logistics

6. Quality

7. $$ Value Add/Internal Templates/Relationships

8. Competitive Intelligence and Strategic Plan

9. Additional Thoughts

Project Planning

Integrating logistics beyond individual project managers is key to success as well as capturing data, costs, relationships, contracts, and timelines for future quick reference in one consolidated point is crucial to long-term success and cost reduction or value add from a consultancy perspective. There are several formats but for this discussion I’m assuming the use of Project Execution Plan (PEP) as an outline for which both planning and information learned is recorded. ISO 18001, implement, monitor, correct, and record.

- The overall construction plan in the PEP can be used step by step as an outline to record POCs (state and federal authorities & vendors), procedures, HSE plans, lessons learned, decision matrices etc.

- This can also to used to outline billing or change order tracking/dispute resolution as required.

- The PEP should also contain (on an internal only version) administrative drivers. These include applicable payment windows, penalty windows, contract references, PPA, permit deadlines, tender process milestones, component production and delivery schedules, construction site and pier set up, transportation, staging and installation timelines, commissioning process timeline, detailed lessons learned, turn over date tracking, punch list tracking etc.

Project Preparation

- Procedures and equipment. For example Seafastening procedures and equipment for all the different vessels, manufactures and locations.

- New territory for OSHA, U.S. Coast Guard and other oversight. Early liaison is crucial.

- Communication plan and equipment.

- Project control center layout and capability (everybody will want in and their piece of the space, bandwidth, admin support etc.)

- Weather monitoring standard procedure, communication and responsibilities.

- Infrastructure for personnel surges. Feeding, berthing etc. Securing limited accommodations early can affect bottom line and schedule. 30 people travelling an extra 15 minutes each way is 90 lost man-hours in a 6-day workweek. High volumes of seasonal tourists should be considered.

- Gathering and review of all procedures (these require constant update as equipment or conditions change from plans, including geological conditions, vessel type, crane type and so on).

- Identifying the review timelines and criteria (for example who performs the project review and determines parameters?)

- Getting lift plans from contractors. Ensuring they match applicable footprints and given wind criteria as specified in contracts and actual conditions.

** As equipment is finalized this cascades to exact wind criteria and other constraints that may cause timeline shift.

- Back up planning. Availability of additional or higher capacity equipment and personnel if required (for example a higher capacity crane that has higher wind limits). Potential contract personnel suppliers.

- Will proposed barge/vessel loading schemes be allowed?

- Boating traffic fluctuations should be overlaid onto project timeline including commercial and leisure (a sailing regatta could be a hindrance to a transit)

- Establishment of concise post mechanical completion procedures and quality criteria. Turnover criteria, run parameters, grid state, inspection process and punch list execution planning should be defined.

Project Execution

- Cost Of Plant for at sea installation vessels will drive project timeline. Logistic or operational shortfalls creating down days will be very costly.


- Uniform expectations for all contractors. Communicated and contractually accounted for.

- Who has HSE responsibility at every point in the project?

- Review/update timeline and responsibility of Emergency Communication and Action plans.

- Local emergency authority contacts and response potential verified.

- Reach out early to community emergency providers for their advice and to conduct fully integrated joint training with them (community building benefit as well).

- PPE expectations and supplies. Must be clearly conveyed to subcontractors.

- Training expectations. Must be clearly conveyed to subcontractors.

- Training and drills incorporated into timelines.

- Inspections incorporated into timelines.

- Exact operating parameters and go/no-go procedures for all heavy lift and at sea activities should be in place well ahead of time (vessels, cranes, waves, winds, currents, mooring requirements/limits and variances with different loading configurations) and reviewed/agreed to by project managers, operators and decision makers.

- Considering dynamic forces of at sea lifts will require a more complex “trade off” matrix for evaluating different potential options (and costs).


- From a consulting perspective (especially in a new industry) part of logistics is capturing the work that was done and identifying areas of value add and potential future profit streams or billable services

- Optimal Delivery Schedule of components




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