Feasibility studies

A feasibility study is most often prepared to help determine whether a development opportunity makes good business sense. The corresponding technical issues are an essential prerequisite but the over-arching objective is most often one of economic viability.

The process itself may be multi-phased and iterative with an initial scoping study leading to a preliminary study and ultimately a definitive or detailed study. This is particularly true when many impacting issues are uncertain or where there are a range of options which need to be eliminated to arrive at that which would be most likely to justify the investment.

Understanding the alternatives, identifying risks and optimum project configurations, creating value for the client (where that value could even be professional advice not to proceed) are all part of the service from KGAL. Provided they are in the brief, deep research ­­of initial concepts and strategic fit through to project operation­ are all assessed through a transparent and accountable framework.

Of course, at some point, a commercial decision has to be taken. Yet some buying authorities will inevitably have great difficulty in making a choice simply because, despite the deepest and most rigorous study, there still may be no definitive answer. Writing in the Engineering and Mining Journal in 2002, American mining engineer Chris Gypton said “Private industry simply cannot afford to study a project to a point of ‘absolute certainty'. Good judgment will always be required for project evaluations...sometimes you have to make a decision based on data that is known to be incomplete, and live with it.”

And this is where the unique benefit of commissioning KGAL for a project feasibility study report adds value. Our engineers, many with a construction background, have enourmous experience in hydropower, water control and moving structures. We know what works, what might work, and what definitely won’t work: both technically and economically. This abundance of experience, our range and breadth of projects and our technical expertise combine to provide the ‘good judgement’ input to ensure we always deliver a fully considered, coherent and conclusive feasibility study.

Pic: Lowestoft Harbour in Suffolk on England's east coast. We were asked by Waveney District Council to undertake a feasibility study for a new moving gate tidal barrier to protect Lowestoft and the wider region from tidal flooding whilst maintaining marine access to the inner harbour.