The Chunnel Project : Introduction“The Channel Tunnel (Chunnel) project was launched tocreate a connection between England and France viadedicated underground tunnel. Scope of the project: To create a fixed transportation link between England and France. Objective’s of the project: To spur economic development in the region. Improve European trade environment. Provide alternative high speed transportation method.
Project Life Cycle Evaluation: Inception Phase: Historical background, nature of project, political climate and pre-feasibility studies. Development Phase: Planning, financing and conceptual designing. Implementation Phase: Detailed designing, construction, installation, testing and commissioning. Closeout Phase: Overall performance, settlement of claims, financial status and post-project evaluation.
Inception Phase: In 1986 Anglo-French Treaty signed, Transmanche Link (TML) awarded contract and Eurotunnel declared owner for 55 years post completion of the project. The proposal included a 32 mile double rail tunnel to accommodate both through-trains and special car and truck carrying shuttle trains. Original cost estimation of the project was 5.5 billion USD which was eventually increased to 14.9 billion USD. Financing was pursued via equity and loan capital markets forming a large scale 7,00,000 shareholders and a consortium of almost 220 lending banks worldwide. English and French government being party to the project, had created a conducive environment to facilitate its success to boost European trade and economy. Pre-feasibility study with high level design perspective and respective rough order of magnitudes of estimates were appropriated to certain extent. State of the art laser and computer technology was used to bore the tunnel and to test every part of the rail system.
Assessment and AnalysisProject Management Area Development PhaseScope Management 3Time Management 3Cost Management 2Quality Management 4HR Management 3Comminication Management 3Risk Management 3Procurrement Management 3Integration Management 3
Major areas of strength in themanagement of Inception phase High level design and respective rough order of magnitude of estimates were appropriate . Schedule planning included activity definition, sequencing and duration to develop base line project schedule. Risk management to have reviewed the scope of the euro-tunnel initial risks with perspective of Engineering risks. Quality management included quality planning, assurance, and control. Team work was explicit given the fact thousands of workers, machinist and engineers worked very well over a period of 3.5 years. Communication perspective related to project planning, negotiations and its flow was achieved and technical problems was solved smoothly. Monitoring of project objectives and its progress was accomplished. There was a significant value of an effective in decision making following “ best practices” to include all key stakeholders.
Major areas of opportunities forimprovement in Inception phase Enough time should have been provided for low level design keep the project cost effective and w.r.t initial estimation. Contractual assessment could have been more precise which led to additional claims to 2.25 billion USD. Risk management of know or unknown and change control methods could have been more rigorous . Incomplete requirements, scope changes and risk responses should have been mitigated to reduce likelihood of negative schedule and cost variance. Communication within organizational structure, contracts and finances were addressed with conflicts. Monitoring of project should have been managed to industry specific pratices and agreed upon international standards. Decision making along with roles and responsibilities of a project management office should have been validated.