Managing Risk during Rapid Completion Projects A case study in remediation of a Svalbard settlement

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: Background and Problem statement: In the High Arctic on the Norwegian island of Svalbard, it was decided in 2016 to shut down the mining settlement called Svea, since coal prices had dropped, and it was no longer profitable to keep the settlement running. In order to discontinue operations there, the company that runs and owns the settlement, Store Norske Kullkompani Spitsbergen (SNSK), was required to comply with the Svalbard Environmental Protection Act (NO 79. of 2001). This entails the removal of all surface installations, waste, as well as roads, machinery, and other infrastructure, thereby restoring nature to its original state. Given its remote location, and the demanding circumstances surrounding the clean-up project in Svea, the project needed to be completed quickly, since that would also help limit the negative environmental consequences. However, remediating such a large and complicated project inevitably involves various risks, which is why extensive planning has been required to make sure that the project is executed in a safe manner.Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to explore various tools and theories that can be useful for project managers in situations where the project must be completed as quickly as possible, while minimizing both the environmental impact and costs of cleanup.Methodology: The scholarly perspective of the thesis is a combination of positivism and hermeneutics resulting in an abductive perspective. A case study was conducted in Svea where one of the interviews was held in person with Gudmund Løvli, Project Manager of Svea Environmental Project at SNSK. The second interview was held over video call with Kenneth Eikrem, Project Manager at AF Decom AS. The data collection methods consisted of interviews, as well as primary and secondary sources.Results and Conclusion: The results gathered from literature review and interviews showed that the risks associated with environmental impact, costs, and the time required for completing the project can successfully be minimized with the use of competent and experienced staff who in turn use the standard portfolio of tools and methods provided in the literature.However, the standard portfolio does not take the effect of human factors on project performance into account. Adding tools that help address these factors has been identified as an area where further improvements can be made in this and future projects.

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