CASE STUDY : Hong Kong Natural Gas Pipeline - Project Management Institute
As one of the world´s most populous cities, Hong Kong needs a consistent stream of clean energy resources to supply its 7.1 million residents with power. The city relies on a mix of fuels, one of those energy sources being natural gas. Since 1996, Hong Kong´s Black Point Power Station had drawn natural gas from the reserves of the Yacheng 13-1 gas field in Hainan, a nearby Chinese province. But those reserves had begun to deplete, and by late 2000s, it was clear that CLP/CAPCO (a joint venture of ExxonMobil Energy and CLP Power Hong Kong) needed a new plan.
In 2008, HKSAR Government and the Central Government of the People´s Republic of China signed a MoU on energy cooperation, which identified three new gas sources from which mainland China could supply gas to Hong Kong. One of the sources is the Second West-East Gas Pipeline (WEPII), which is the world´s longest natural gas pipeline. Building an additional pipeline to bring WEPII´s gas to Hong Kong by the end of 2012, however, would be no easy task and would require top-notch project management.
A HIGHLY COMPLEX PROJECT
Connecting the WEPII network from mainland China to Hong Kong presented numerous, complex challenges to all involved.
Regulations: As it crossed the border between mainland China and Hong Kong, the project team had to acquire permits from both jurisdictions. The project had to fulfill differing practices and statutory approval processes between the jurisdictions. Communications: The various working teams used several languages, and all of the parties involved had different requirements for documentation and reporting. The teams predominantly used English, Putonghua, and Cantonese. However, they used English and Chinese for documents and powerpoint presentations. The project team also had to manage a multitude of stakeholders, including over 30 authorities in both jurisdictions.
Environmental requirements: The project needed to fulfill stringent environmental requirements for the two jurisdictions. The project managers instituted a robust monitoring and audit program during the project execution phase, with intensive water quality monitoring, marine mammal monitoring, and site inspections. Mitigation measures also included the deployment of silt curtains and limitations on working speed during marine dredging and jetting operations.
The groundwork: The actual laying of the pipeline was subject to many physical constraints. The project required a 20 km undersea pipeline through three shipping channels-Dachan Fairway, Tonggu Channel, and Urmston Road-the latter of which is one of the world´s busiest marine channels. There were also challenges involving shallow water with a dredged marine channel, anchorage areas, and an existing subsea pipeline and cables.
SUCCESSFUL OUTCOMES The first gas arrived on 19 December 2012, and WEPII officially started supplying gas to Black Point Power Station for power generation in 2013.
The project was a remarkable success, with timely completion and a minimal impact on heavy marine traffic in the area. In addition, there were no environmental incidents reported.
PMBOK® GUIDE PRACTICES AT WORK
The project and programme managers on the Second West-East Gas Pipeline Hong Kong Branch Line Project had to handle enormous complexity. To accomplish the task of building a subsea pipeline in one of the world´s busiest marine channels, they implemented a number of good practices outlined in the PMBOK« Guide, including:
The result was a project that finished on time, with minimal environmental impact and zero reportable incidents or fatalities.