Eugene Bajema recently joined Pondera as Business Developer, based in New Zealand. Pondera is perfectly positioned to support the developing renewable energy industry in NZ as highlighted by the New Zealand Government’s 2050 vision. With extensive experience in the offshore industry, Eugene is keen to play a part in this.
We asked Eugene a few questions to get to know him a little better.
How did you end up with Pondera?
I have worked with Albert Ploeg off and on for more than 20 years. So, when Albert and Hans (Rijntalder) approached me about developing renewable energy in New Zealand with Pondera, the response was “absolutely”!
I have considerable experience in the management of the design, engineering, procurement, subcontracting, installation, and commissioning aspects relating to the offshore industry around the world, including onshore and ultra-deep water. This includes experience within New Zealand, where I have now lived for almost 8 years again, having lived here in 2006/7 as well.
In the past decade I have focussed on various offshore wind and wave energy related projects (which is where I got to know Matthias Haag), including developing a new concept for the installation of offshore wind turbines and working on the development of wind turbine installation (support) vessels.
What did you do before you joined Pondera?
For the past decade I have been a consultant working directly with clients, managing project and engineering teams as well as business and strategy development. a result, I have had the opportunity to live and work in some of the most amazing and challenging places in the world.
What are your plans for Pondera New Zealand?
Looking at where the New Zealand market for offshore wind and other renewable energy sources is, I think Pondera can provide huge support. The experience Pondera can inject into the New Zealand market, combined with the New Zealand mentality for making things work, could significantly accelerate the growth of renewable energy and offshore wind in particular.
It is clear New Zealand is ready to go big into renewable energy as they move towards “Goal Zero”, and I firmly believe that Pondera can play a crucial role in this process, as we have in other markets.
What gives you energy?
My love for the beauty of nature is one of the main reasons why I live in New Zealand. Exploring nature on foot (tramping as we call it here) or on a motorbike, alone or with family and friends is what recharges my batteries.
Walking through areas like the Goblin Forest on Taranaki Maunga is real but feels like magic at the same time. The Great Walks and Te Araroa trail are high in my wish list to complete in the next decade as well. Exploring the more urban sites of New Zealand, and enjoying our museums, sampling mochaccinos, and of course finding the perfect pie are also ways for me to recharge.
I also coach a school hockey team, as I love the game and love to coach the kids in my teams, especially when I see them walk of the field with a big smile after every game (no matter the result of the game).
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