Collaboration on the agenda

Johan Sverdrup. Norway's biggest oil field ever and the largest development in the country in three decades. It is a huge industrial adventure, where Aibel has played a leading role from start reaching milestones with new approaches to collaboration with the customer.

Piping teamet
The piping department at Laem Chabang consists of both Aibel and Equinor employees. Integrated teams are a part the P2 project's new execution model. All photos: Aibel.

Ever since Equinor awarded the first Johan Sverdrup contract to the company in 2015, the level of activity has been extremely high. In the first phase of the development, Aibel was responsible for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the field's drilling platform, building two of the bridges linking the total of four platforms in the project, and a land-based converter station at Haugsneset outside Haugesund, providing power to the field.

The concept of working as “one team” was already back then described as key to the success in the project. Therefore, now that the second phase of the development is well underway in both Spain and at Aibel's yards in Haugesund and Thailand, similar thinking patterns apply.

This time, the company is EPC responsible for the process platform (P2), which consists of three modules – MSF, UPM and HVDC, and for building another converter station at Haugsneset to ensure the power supply to the Johan Sverdrup field and the rest of the fields on the Utsira formation.

Read more about Aibel's field development projects

New and ambitious execution model

At the Laem Chabang yard, approximately 60 Norwegians are stationed, employees of both Aibel and Equinor. Most of them have moved to Thailand to work on the MSF module and will be staying until scheduled sail away in the beginning of 2021.

Together with Aibel's other employees in Thailand they will ensure that the construction process stays on track. In order to do that in the best way possible, the “one team” concept is taken a step further.

With a new and ambitious execution model, the P2 project has a strengthened focus on internal interaction and collaboration with the customer. Under the slogan “P2 – Performing 2gether”, the two companies are now working closer together than ever before.

A higher degree of data sharing, common working methods and reporting systems are among the initiatives taken to optimize the overall flow in the project. Setting common goals and solving challenges together is crucial, and now that construction is at full speed ahead, one can start to see the impact that this has on both a departmental and overall level.

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"P2 – Performing 2gether". Management representatives at a joint visit to Deeline in November.

An integrated team

When you enter the office of the piping department at Laem Chabang, you no longer see just the orange overalls, otherwise known as Aibel’s. The yellow ones worn by Equinor are just as visible, as the two companies sit together. The activity level in the room picks up already at seven in the morning. One after the other shares a smiling "good morning" with their colleagues as the seats fill up in the open office space. It is obvious that the people here have already become well acquainted with each other.

Because the new execution model relies on a seamless interaction within the P2 project – expanding across both employers, countries and cultures, it has been important to find ways to establish a common work culture. For the piping team this was initially done by having weekly meetings with key personnel, introducing one another to their systems and otherwise just creating a low threshold for talking to each other by sharing an office space.

“Here we share experience with everyone in the team. Where we used to be more divided into different offices in the roles of supplier and customer, we are now more concerned with working as an integrated team. So far, my experience of connecting people like this is that communication improves and our work becomes more efficient,” says Trond Christiansen, Piping Engineer in Aibel.

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Trond Christiansen and Pratak Chomthong are both very proud of the collaborating efforts in their team.

For example, the piping team have experienced that they have better control over changes made at a departmental level are not interfering with the overall plan for the project. Thus, the team has more room for rethinking things along the way without it having a negative effect on other processes in the construction.

As Aibel’s P2 Piping Manager, Pratak Chomthong, explains, Aibel and Equinor go side by side in all the steps taken in the project and they also work closely with Deeline, who among other things, delivers all the pipes to the project. This has obviously been a learning process, but the result seems to be a more unified team with a better understanding of each other.

“Teamwork as a starting point is important because it brings us together. We are from different countries, have different cultures, and are employed in different companies, but we still work well together because we are able to combine our differences and create a common work culture. None of us have really worked like this before, but everyone wants this project to be carried out in a perfect way and this is something we do best by collaborating,” Chomthong says.

Diplom Piping
Good Aibel and Equinor teamwork was emphasized with this improvement award.

Room for new ideas

Recently the piping department proved that they have succeeded with their interaction, as the team received an award for streamlining the MSF module's construction.

Every other month an internal award ceremony takes place in the P2 project and a trophy goes to those who have come up with especially good improvement proposals for the project. So, with their proposal on a better way to do the pipe construction, the award in October went to the piping team.

“We are constantly working to maintain the focus that has given good results so far in terms of both HSE and the overall time schedule. But in order to do so, it has been important to facilitate a work culture where there among other things, is room for new ideas. I think our proposal reflects the fact that this is something our department have succeeded in,” concludes Kjell Einertrø, Piping Supervisor in Equinor.

Thanks to good Aibel and Equinor teamwork, the pipe-work in Thailand could start one month ahead of schedule – a testament to both the new execution model and the success on implementing the “P2 – Performing 2gether” slogan in this department.

Rørene ligger klare
Pipe supports for the MSF module ready for assembly at the yard, one month ahead of schedule.