2nd Maasvlakte planned with Primavera

It’s been a topic of discussion for years: realizing a second Maasvlakte. The Rotterdam harbor is growing rapidly. But the project can finally start mid2008. Gemeentewerken Rotterdam is – commissioned by the project organization Maasvlakte 2 of the Rotterdam Harbor Company - planning this complex operation, and other large-scale projects, in Primavera.

The first container is supposed to ‘land’ in 2013, but the needed preparations have been going for years. Aad Wepster and Luc Overdulve are just two of the numerous people working in the area of planning for this project. Both are in service of the engineering office of Gemeentewerken Rotterdam, Wepster as senior planner, Overdulve as his stand-in and application manager for planning software. “I make various implementation schedules by order of the project organization Maasvlakte 2 of the Rotterdam Harbor Company”, Wepster explains. “That involves a planning of all construction activities needed to make the Maasvlakte 2 a reality. It’s a complex planning, because the Maasvlakte 2 will have to seamlessly suit the existing first Maasvlakte. Roads, railways, piping, waterways, NUTS infrastructure and data networks: we have to have everything in order.” Wepster works on one part of the planning, the realization planning. Another co-worker works on ‘condition planning’, meaning the planning and monitoring of procedures and permits. “And there are a lot of those”, says Overdulve. “An overall-planner at the project  office receives all separate schedules and incorporates them in an integral planning for the entire project. There’s also a lot of attention for risk management. There is an extensive log for risks and these risks are also linked to the planning. This gives us more insight in the planning’s feasibility.” “We work multidisciplinary in this project”, says Wepster.

The planning phase started out simple. Then expansions and refinements are applied one after another and all separate schedules are added to the planning. “A planning like that quickly grows to eight- to nine hundred activities. You have to be capable of presenting the data on a certain level and be able to share it with contractors working on different parts”, says Wepster.

Extensive planning package

Because we are working with multiple schedules, the need arose for an extensive software package. Last year, project organization Maasvlakte 2 began searching for the best planning software. “We had developed our own planning software at the Gemeentewerken Rotterdam. I worked on it as a programmer, Overdulve says. It dates back pretty far, to the time when nothing on the market met our demands. At the end of the ‘90s, the availability of planning software was good enough for us to stop developing our own: after all, it isn’t our core business”. After the 2006 selection rounds, Primavera came out as the best choice. It has been the second official planning package since then and our planners are now profoundly skilled at working with it. “We can now plan everything in one package, even multidisciplinary”, says Wepster. “The plans for the Maasvlakte are very complex and, of course, all kinds of delay can occur in the numerous public consultations and permit procedures. It’s crucial to be able to immediately see what that means for your planning.” By now, engineering office Gemeentewerken Rotterdam has also chosen Primavera as the planning package for other projects. Wepster: “Looking at the Maasvlakte, we´ve seen how important it is to have a good planning package. Primavera meets all our demands when it comes to a planning package, that’s why we also use it for other projects as well and  all our planners are trained for Primavera.”

Start with a structure

Overdulve and Wepster are both satisfied about working with Primavera. Overdulve: “Primavera requires that you start by creating a structure. This takes more time initially, but it forces you to work more structured. This will benefit you later on. Around a 1000 people work at our engineering firm, divided in three market groups: City, Harbor and Transport and the third: Environment and Spatial Development. You can collect your data down to the lowest level and then ‘roll it up’ into a complete report for the marketing group and the whole company. We have now inserted the company’s structure into Primavera; the next step we’d like to take is to include all numbers and resources. But that’s going to take some effort. ”


Gemeentewerken Rotterdam is now using Primavera for planning another big project; IODS (Integral Development Delft Schiedam). In this project, all kinds of recreational and ecological matters are planned to be constructed along the route of the newly to-be-constructed A4 highway”, says Overdulve. “Again a complicated planning where we can really use Primavera.” Primavera is also used for other complex municipal projects, like Randstadrail/CS. Overdulve and Wepster enjoys working with the system: “It was an exciting step when we took a chance and converted to Primavera. We checked everything and it turned out that 99.9% of the data had arrived. That saved us a ton of work”, says Overdulve. “Generating issues is also a great possibility, and it’s easy to make notes in your planning.

Harbor needs more room

A big map of the Rotterdam harbor area hangs in the meeting room. Overdulve and Wepster use it to show how the large sea ships will maneuver into the new harbor. The current harbor area is as good as full”, Wepster and Overdulve explain. Large connected areas for large-scale deep sea bound container transfer and chemistry are no longer available. We need the Maasvlakte 2 to facilitate further growth of the harbor. Around 1000 ha. of issuable terrain will become available when the Maasvlakte 2 is realized. The first areas should be ready for use in 2013. Maasvlakte 2 will be developed in stages until 2030-2035 and is destined for deep sea bound container transfer, related distribution and chemistry. The construction of Maasvlakte 2 is part of the Project Main port development Rotterdam (PMR). This project aims not only to strengthen the harbor but also strengthen the climate of livability in the region. Beside the construction of the Maasvlakte 2, other projects in the area of intensifying the usage of the current harbor, a series of livability projects and the development of 750 ha. of nature and recreational areas is also part of the PMR project.