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In reviewing this project, it is noticed that Zylad, a French company has developed a “hydrogen production process” by using “microbial biomass conversion” that uses the abilities of microorganisms to release hydrogen. In this process, the microorganisms are required to consume biomass and digest it to release hydrogen based on a fermentation system as they are producing hydrogen by breaking organic matter. In this procedure, it is seen that “microbial electrolysis cells (MECs)” are being used by Zylad which is a new technology in investigating how to use effective microbes by implementing lower-cost materials by its researchers.
Zylad has estimated its initial project cost to be at 24.5 million EUR for 5 years from 2024 to 2028 and has demarcated its operating costs that include operational costs which are increasing @5.5% each year. Other costs include Research cost which is increasing @7.8% each year and marketing cost that is increasing @3% each year. For calculation of “net present value” or NPV values of estimated revenues are provided as well where Zylad has estimated the discounting factor to be 4% per annum.
PB period is calculated as investment divided by the net amount of total cash flows (Marchioni and Magni, 2018). ROC is calculated by dividing positive cash flow generations by negative cash flow generations that are resulting in a negative value of return on capital employed. The NPV of cash flows is negative for 2023 and 2024 which is becoming positive from 2025 resulting in an overall positive balance in NPV (Liang et al. 2019). Net cash flows are derived by subtracting all costs from revenue of specified years, NPV per year is derived by dividing “net cash flows” by its discounting factor @4%.
In commenting on a business case, there is a positive NPV value where payback can be expected for 4.9 years starting after 0.9 years. However, ROC indicates negative profitability and payback time is also not suitable for a hydrogen plant. Overall, this business case is negative based on ROC and PB values but it can be determined positive from NPV’s point of view.
PID or a “Product initiation documentation” is considered as a document that is used for planning in defining project scopes, business case studies, business risks and other essential details required to be kept in mind. As per suggestions of Chaffee and Cheng (2018), documentation regarding project initiatives is used in defining various scopes for this project, management protocols, governance styles and criteria for success attainment. PID documentation required for Zylad can contain the following details related to MEC set-up,
A “Stakeholder communication plan” is essentially required to be constructed as there are multiple stakeholders involved within this project who are required to manage and maintain an open communication system. This project will be initiated keeping in mind respective stakeholder valuation by informing them regarding project progress and changes. As mentioned by Zingraff-Hamed et al. (2020), stakeholders are all interested parties who are involved or capable enough to influence their impacts on a particular project. A stakeholder map is constructed to identify key stakeholders who are the key players required to be kept informed and manage closely with monitoring effects.
Frequency of reporting and communication used
Here stakeholders belonging to the manage closely category are the key players with high levels of influence and interest in this MEC project, consisting of project directors, shareholders and key sponsors. Stakeholders required to be kept satisfied have higher influence with lower interests including government, local authorities, loan providers and a few more (Ginigeet al. 2018). The requirement to be kept informed includes stakeholders having lower influence with high interest including residents, healthcare providers. Stakeholders that require negligible effort include monitoring where their interest and influence are lower in the case of environmental groups and political parties (King et al. 2020). Along with this, each category of the constructed stakeholder map consists of details of communication types that depict the communication plan to be maintained with each stakeholder group by Zylad.
Risk is an integral part of any project portfolio that requires prior identification based on which project managers can register such risk assessment with mitigation strategies and precautionary actions. Based on the important suggestions of Uzulans (2019), the risk register is considered a document that is referred to as a risk management tool that is used to identify a potential occurrence of risk in a project. A “risk management plan” is developed using a suitable framework that is used in monitoring and managing project risks. Thereafter, a “resource management plan” is constructed to identify key resources required for this project along with a resource histogram presenting “supply and fit phase” showing total personnel numbers.
The risk register is prepared to contain wider parts in the RAID log referring to “risks, actions, issues and decision” for presenting the “supply and fit phase” regarding this project. Along with this respective mitigation strategies are also projected and recommended that will leverage project operations.
This Week-to-week resource histogram is graphically presenting the amounts of resources required in this project at each step per week, at every stage of the “supply and fit phase”. This histogram shows the maximum resource required in Fit-out 2 where the minimum is projected in “procurement of equipment”.
As per mentioned clauses, a staff budget is prepared to project critical amounts that are required to be paid to the assigned staff based on their responsibilities and job roles (Rostoka and Cherevychnyi, 2018). The requirement of personnel is based on the types of activities that are going to take place within the MEC project of Zylad. At this moment, only analysts, managers, supervisors, officers are required to be present for all 7 days and other personnel like the CEO, and directors will be summoned as per requirements. [Refer to Appendix 2]
In this last part of this project report tracking progress is registered based on the preparation of a RAG status report that indicates actual versus the budgeted or planned progress with clear identification of variations. Based on this RAG status report and analysis suggestions are made with possible solutions and appropriate mitigation strategies for the better operational execution of this MEC project by Zylad.
In respect of the reporting commitments based on Zylad’s Steering Committee, the RAG status report is prepared that tracks the progress of mentioned activities along with its cost spendings in the “supply and fit phase”. The production will begin on September 4, 2023, where RAG stands for “Red, amber and green”. As opined by Hopmereet al. (2020), the RAG status of a particular project determines a certain level where resources will affect respective project success as per expectations like finance, talent and time.
This figure above showcases those various activities mentioned under the MEC project of Zylad are assigned with actual progress percentages relating to which variation on such percentage is determined. Based on the duration of these activities it has been possible to infer on progress tracking of each activity that shows vendor analysis, “procurement of equipment” and its supply have undergone 100% behind the progress for that is yet to complete. Details of the RAG status report of Zylad is thus discussed with clear presentation and explanation.
Based on the RAG status report it is seen that maximum activities are lagging behind and are yet to be completed as progress is going behind the scheduled date. The completion date of this project is on 23rd October 2023, but it is recommended that re-planning of activities is required to recover original plan ambitions.
An implementation of a project team is done by this company aiming to develop a business case by a presentation of breakthrough energy to secure funding and construct a plant in this new set-up. In the construction of a hydrogen plant, Zylad is aiming to set up a commercially viable factory that will be operational in the future as well. After ascertaining important financial statements and progress reports along with risk registration necessary mitigation strategies and recommendations are provided for better operations.
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