Scotland Branch AGM with NorthConnect - 16th May 2012

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Posted by APM on 21st May 2012

The first part of the evening was taken up by the Scotland Branch 2012 AGM. Evan Clark retained the Chair for the upcoming year, Scott Torbett will continue as Treasurer and Sally-Anne Coupar became Secretary. Evan reminded those present that a robust and diverse committee is vital to the strategic development of the branch and the drive to raise awareness and standards in the profession. He encouraged interested parties to contact him.  More detailed information regarding the AGM can be found in the Word document attached below.

With the AGM concluded, the assembled company then enjoyed the presentation by Richard Blanchfield who talked about the NorthConnect bi-directional power interconnector between Scotland and Norway.

Two countries, five organisations, a core project team of fifteen people spread over ten locations, Scottish and Norwegian politics just some of the complex and challenging facets of Dr Richard Blanchfields current project. Richard is the UK project manager and head of the technology department for NorthConnect, a project company owned by five partners in Norway, UK and Sweden.

The Scotland-Norway interconnector aims to link Nordic hydro-based electricity production with Scottish wind generation in an ambitious project which will harness and optimise the natural renewable resources of both countries in the most efficient way using high voltage direct current (HVDC) technology.

A Chartered Civil Engineer and an APM member, Richard tailored his presentation to give APM Scotland branch members an insight into the most challenging and unique aspects of his project internal and external stakeholder management. The five partners, Agder Energi, E-CO, Lyse, Scottish and Southern Energy and Vattenfall AB all have their own management systems and contribute key personnel who are often on secondment or have a part-time role in the project. The external stakeholder environment has vast breadth and depth and includes Scotland, Norway, sub-sea, UK and EU at local, regional and national level.

In order to manage this project effectively at both macro and micro level, the communications strategy is key. Unified governance and teamwork generates a consistent and positive message which is vital in maintaining a good perception of the project and in sustaining productive political dialogue.

Richards excellent presentation brought clarity to an extremely complex project. He took many questions from the audience who were keenly interested in the special challenges of this 1.5bn project scheduled to open for electrical traffic in 2020 or 2021. 

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