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Managing large investment projects – Case Meyer Turku

Author Veli-Matti Niemi
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Large and multi-party investment projects require diverse and thorough expertise. The transparent cooperation between the customer, consultant and suppliers is also of critical importance in such projects.Other key success factors include timetable management, cost management and risk management. Reporting and timely communication in all circumstances ensure that the actions taken lead towards achieving jointly agreed goals as planned. Building and earning trust are key components of project management. Meyer Turku’s large investment project is a good example of how projects of this nature can be managed.

Elomatic became involved in Meyer Turku shipyard’s large investment projects at the end of 2015, when it conducted a study for the yard about possible bottlenecks in their hull production investment. The yard had a full orderbook at the time, including a ship series that required a significant increase in production capacity.

An investment program was drawn up for 2016–2020, based on the results of the preliminary study. A Project Management Office (PMO) did not exist at the time, but a few persons had just been hired for the investment project. Methods and models for project management and the implementation of the investment project were created with Meyer based on Meyer’s Hi5 project model. The shipyard already had extensive experience in shipbuilding, which was nevertheless not transferable to implementing an investment programme. This led to large-scale cooperation between Elomatic and the shipyard.


Project documentation

Extensive project documentation was drawn up for the investment programme. The most essential materials included a project plan, procurement plan, cost guidelines, timetable models, documents related to risk and resource management, as well as a range of daily document templates like notes, minutes, and kick-off documents to support the project. The prioritisation of investment targets i.e. the order of implementation was drawn up based on the preliminary study.

Timetable  and cost management

Timetable management is a key part of project management at both the project and project portfolio level, for example, linking interdependencies from one project to the next.

Based on the initial cost evaluations and budget offers, a party has to be assigned to oversee implementation, when the customer’s goals are clear. Once the final investment decision has been taken, a budget estimate is generated, which is thereafter evaluated on a monthly basis.

Risk management

Different risk management models were sourced and practically evaluated several times. Management tools were developed markedly and serve each project equally. Visibility needed to be increased, which eased and emphasized usability.

Reporting, communication and content management

A reporting model was developed for suppliers, which they used on a monthly basis. After some testing, a reporting model was created for higher-level project reporting that served all projects regardless of the project phase. External communication on the project was handled in cooperation with the shipyard’s Communications Manager.

Content management is particularly important as projects are intended to implement a company’s strategic decisions. With successful content management, we generate added value and success for the customer.

PMO and ABC models

The Project Management Office (PMO) model developed and managed by Meyer is now officially in use at the shipyard. It is the culmination of wide-ranging cooperation and development of project management procedures. The investment needs were evaluated and the ABC model, familiar to many, is now in use for classification. The current investment programme extends all the way to 2022.

The size and quality of the PMO has grown significantly. The quality adheres to Meyer’s Hi5 model used in all Meyer shipyards with corresponding/relevant updates to fit the purpose of large-scale investment project needs. Over EUR 200,000,000 has been invested so far and indications are that more investments are in the pipeline.

Largest Goliath crane in Europe – 1,200 tonnes

A new Goliath crane supplied by Konecranes was one the more significant of the first wave of investments made at the shipyard. It increased the lifting capacity twofold up to 1,200 tonnes.
Elomatic was responsible for managing the procurement and implementation phase of the project with a team that included several customer experts in the fields of supervision, start-up and inspection. Several other consulting firms from different disciplines took part in design and supervision tasks as well as dozens of subcontractors that completed a wide range of tasks.


The Goliath crane is delivered to Meyer Turku.

The largest part of the project, the construction of the main support, which weighs over 2,000 tonnes, was completed by the shipyard’s own production organisation.

The crane was positioned to run in the same crane rails as a similar crane with a 600-tonne capacity that was acquired in 1975. Much effort was put into strengthening the crane trail structures and the construction docks. Many temporary structures were also built to attach erection wires to the ground.

The greatest challenge was accommodating the shipyard’s shipbuilding and extremely large steel components such as carriages, legs, supports and lift bogies to the production area. Functionality and capacity testing of the crane was conducted with separately constructed test weights. The test weights included reinforced concrete weights built for the 1975 crane, calibration weights by the new shipyard, as well as the 28-metre-long mid-ship of the Bore II.

Timetable management and communication proved to be key know-how areas in project. The cooperation between the customer, its production department, supplier, sub-contractors and partners was smooth throughout the project. At the time of writing this article, the new Goliath crane had been in operation for over 4 months. A great amount of user feedback has been received and it will soon meet customer specifications for usability and utilisation rates.

According to Tero Lahti, Head of Investments and PMO at Meyer Turku, Elomatic’s services for production simulation, process visualisation, BIM model coordination and maintenance supported the special needs of the investment project well.

”The focus for Elomatic has been on project management, design and design supervision, and overseeing demanding procurements. Different Elomatic experts have been involved in almost every Meyer investment project from start to finish. I am very satisfied with the results, also for the very demanding design targets at the shipyard,” Mr Lahti describes Elomatic’s contribution.

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Veli-Matti Niemi

IPMA Level B, Certified Senior Project Manager, Veli-Matti Niemi has extensive project management expertise in large projects. His expertise areas cover different tasks from procurement negotiations through to project handover on demanding domestic and international assignments. He has IPMA Class B project management certification and currently works as a Certified Senior Project Manager at Elomatic’s Turku office.

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