Accelerating infrastructure projects

  • Interview
  • 2 minute read
  • 05 Jul 2023

An interview with PwC expert Martin Zündorf, explaining options for accelerating infrastructure projects

About Martin Zündorf: Martin Zündorf has been an expert in complex construction projects within the energy industry and plant engineering for over 15 years. For PwC Germany, he advises clients on how to establish and refine project management organisations, and provides operational support for individual large-scale projects. In addition to projects in Germany, he can also draw on his international experience from projects in Asia, Africa and Scandinavia.

What opportunities do you see for accelerating infrastructure projects?

Martin Zündorf: There are various ways of accelerating infrastructure projects. In certain circumstances, legal frameworks can help to shorten planning and approval procedures. Since speed is a top priority when it comes to expanding our energy infrastructure, a rapid and risk-free production and installation phase should be considered at an early stage and coordinated with key supply chain partners. Another factor that has played a major role in the recent past is a collaborative environment and absolute transparency among parties involved in order to identify and eliminate hidden obstacles and incorrect dependencies in the construction processes at an early stage.

How can an early construction start be achieved?

When it comes to planning approvals for the energy industry, Paragraph 44c of the German Energy Act (Energiewirtschaftsgesetz) allows certain construction activities to be started early. There are a number of prerequisites: the measures must be reversible, and the outlook needs to be positive in terms of planning approval being granted. It’s crucial to identify which construction activities can be undertaken as early as possible in the planning phase.

Martin Zündorf, Director for Capital Projects and Infrastructure at PwC Germany

How can companies realise the potential of project acceleration?

Zündorf: It is important to establish and maintain stable communication between all parties involved, both public and private, especially in the early phase of a project. An iterative process can lead to much faster progress in planning, approval and construction than traditional sequential steps. Within the project organisation, interactive planning workshops with key stakeholders from different departments are an important planning and management method for optimising the project schedule. They enable an interdisciplinary schedule planning of the scope of work, they help to identify key milestones and interface activities, and help to validate performance indices as well as logical order/sequence of work. Forward and backward planning considerations can be used to determine options for acceleration. In the execution phase, it’s essential to integrate and consolidate management information to jointly carry out critical risk and schedule  assessments in order to set overall project priorities.

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Christian Elsholz

Christian Elsholz

Partner Capital Projects & Infrastructure, PwC Germany

Rebekka Berbner

Rebekka Berbner

Partnerin, Capital Projects & Infrastructure, PwC Germany

Tel: +49 171 7836-364

Jörg Busch

Jörg Busch

Partner, Risk Consulting, PwC Germany

Tel: +49 170 8585-320

Martin Zündorf

Martin Zündorf

Director Capital Projects & Infrastructure, PwC Germany

Tel: +49 1517 2737-321