On 1 April 2021, Egbert Jansen became team leader of the CBE (Contracting, Construction and Exploitation) team. The CBE team deals with the contracting, construction & exploitation of sustainable energy projects. Egbert succeeds Angelique Strijker who has left Pondera.
Egbert has been with Pondera since 2018. Coming from the contracting industry, he felt at home right away with what was then a brand new CBE team. The CBE team has further expanded in recent years. The team currently consists of ten enthusiastic people who, on a daily basis, help customers to realise their sustainable energy projects. In recent years, the team has carried out several technical due diligences, prepared business cases, guided various sales processes and helped clients in the tendering and contracting phase. In addition, the team employs a full-time site manager and a technical project manager to represent our clients during the construction phase.
What was your reaction when you were approached for the role?
I was happy and honoured, of course. It’s a step that feels very natural for both Pondera and for me personally. I started at Pondera three years ago with the idea of further developing the services related to contracting and construction supervision of projects. In addition to the experience that I was able to gain on various fabulous projects in recent years, I was always actively working on expanding the team and looking for new opportunities to further develop our services. By spending a number of years learning the tricks of the trade, I can now guide the team effectively in offering high-quality services. I will also remain active as a senior contract manager in the team.
What added value does the CBE team offer to the services of Pondera?
Our team is compatible with Pondera’s original services. I ask all people in our team to be involved in a project at least once in the pre-contracting phase. This can be done, for example, by participating in a permit application or a feasibility study. In this way, our people develop a broad understanding and can recognise the sensitivities of a project in the contracting and construction phase, and in so doing, the team can offer our customers a high quality of service in these phases.
What is your view of the CBE team?
We have a fantastic team made up of relatively young, ambitious and motivated people. We like to think outside the box and don’t mind going the extra mile for our customers. With this attitude, we learn quickly and can quickly put things in context. Because we’ve carried out many different projects in a short time and we share the knowledge that’s been acquired internally, we’ve learned a lot in a short time.
What developments do you see in the market?
We’re working in a playing field that’s rapidly changing. Developers are looking for low delivery and maintenance costs and high quality. Suppliers, on the other hand, have to contend with margins that are under pressure. This is a problem and is reflected in contract conditions. In order to be able to offer competitively, suppliers are downgrading assurances and guarantees regarding the availability and performance of their installations. Naturally, we follow this closely and always look for contracts that are ‘bankable’ with our customers, the project financiers and the market.
In addition, in wind energy, we’re seeing decreasing interest from suppliers for projects with less than 5 wind turbines, and at the same time, the number of initiatives with less than 5 wind turbines in onshore wind energy is increasing. This creates a less favourable market. Nevertheless, we have managed to close good contracts with projects with only one provider. Ultimately, it’s about knowledge of the market and fair and transparent negotiation of contract terms.
Finally, we’re seeing increased resistance and opinions from the local community in relation to wind projects. We have recently seen that it’s possible for them to demand that wind turbines be stopped at night if they are deemed to be a nuisance. And that’s even when the standards have been met. I don’t need to explain what that would do to the project owner’s business case. In these situations it becomes really vital to establish what is stated in the permit and what does and does not fall under the sound emission curve guarantee of the supplier.
What are the key things that you want to tackle together with your team?
We want to further expand our technical knowledge in the field of contracting. Particularly in the field of design and the performance of the installations, because it is very important that we have a good understanding of how guarantees and the technology behind them work. That’s the reason that we recently hired a number of people who have significant technical knowledge of wind turbines. In addition, we plan to further expand our team with professionals who have knowledge and experience in the implementation phase. In this way we’ll be able to market the projects even better and guide them in the implementation phase within the established contractual frameworks. Lastly, we want to be involved in larger projects, keep a close eye on opportunities for offshore projects at home and abroad, and monitor new markets such as geothermal energy and energy storage and transmission.
Where do you hope your team is in 5 years?
In view of the current market, I think we will continue to experience considerable growth. There is more and more demand for specialised contract and project managers. We will increasingly supply these specialists. In addition, I think we have developed a complete team that can provide construction supervision for the projects we are involved in. As well as onshore wind, we will also be active with offshore wind projects at home and abroad. Particularly in Asia, where we are involved in a number of offshore wind projects that are becoming increasingly tangible.
In short, there’s plenty to do in the renewable energy market. Hopefully we will see each other soon online or in person.