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Starter pistol for ITER assembly management contract

-Sabina Griffith

The responsibility is large and so is the team: the kickoff meeting for the Construction Management-as-Agent (CMA) contract took place on 25 August. Chee Tan, deputy Construction Department Head and CMA project manager, has the microphone. (Click to view larger version...)
The responsibility is large and so is the team: the kickoff meeting for the Construction Management-as-Agent (CMA) contract took place on 25 August. Chee Tan, deputy Construction Department Head and CMA project manager, has the microphone.
On 27 June, the ITER Organization and the MOMENTUM joint venture (led by Amec Foster Wheeler, UK, in partnership with Assystem, France, and KEPCO Engineering and Construction, Korea) signed a EUR 174 million contract for the management of the 10-year ITER assembly and installation phase.

Two months later, on 25 August, it was time to move from negotiations and paperwork to the implementation of the Construction Management-as-Agent (CMA) contract, as the new partnership is officially called. At the kickoff meeting, staff from ITER and the contractor teams met for the first time around the table to voice their expectations, present their plans for the implementation of the contract, and discuss the next steps.

"For such a long term contract, which is critically based upon partnership, this meeting was the occasion for the different technical teams to meet and begin the process of alignment and knowledge transfer," explained Ken Blackler, head of ITER's Construction Management Section/Division. "We are now entering the six-month preparation phase, when the Construction Management-as-Agent and the ITER Organization will prepare all the proper procedures, systems and methodologies for executing the assembly and installation works that start in 2017."

Representatives of the ITER Organization presented the strategy for construction management while the MOMENTUM consortium described its approach to the preparation of work packages, which translate the engineering information prepared by the ITER Organization into construction work packages for execution by the contractors.

For MOMENTUM, the immediate priorities are to ensure that the team is mobilized in line with the project requirements and that it is able to integrate sufficient information on the ITER design, the scope of construction, the schedule, and the cost to collaborate with the ITER Organization on how to optimize the schedule utilizing MOMENTUM's experience in industry.

"The main challenge," explains MOMENTUM Senior Manager Angie Jones, "is getting up to speed quickly on the technical details for a first-of-a-kind technology-driven project in order to add value in the constructability, construction sequence, and construction methods.  We described our focus on ´right-to-left thinking´; in other words, construction and associated testing and commissioning must drive the design sequence, instead of the other way around, which is less efficient and sometimes difficult to construct and commission. We must learn quickly in order to have this critical input."


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