The ingredients of excellence in customer projects

Fast track is becoming a common descriptive term in project implementation. The overall target of saving lead time is very obvious, and there can be reasonably straightforward ways available for achieving this. From investor’s perspective, the motivation for fast tracking is evident based on the potential to start generating revenue sooner. The real challenge starts when this, as can be expected, has to be done without compromising in costs and in quality, or increasing the risks.

Take for example the recently completed pre-processing project (SDA) in Kilpilahti, Finland, where Neste Jacobs’ responsibility covered everything from feasibility study to project execution on EPCM basis. The project was carried out in clearly structured phases according to established best practices, including among others distinct interfaces and hold-points between various phases. Close interaction with the customer during the reviews was highest on the agenda. As a result, and owing to the team’s stellar performance, mechanical completion was reached well within schedule together with other main targets.

When I asked the project members to identify key factors behind their results, one of the answers caught my attention; the project team was set-up as a task force, which may seem like a thing from the past in modern communication and global design platforms. However, it is actually just one of the many solutions which make it possible to improve cooperation at critical phases and to optimize the lead times accordingly. For example, various internal or external hold and review points serve a justifiable purpose, but can also generate unwanted “waiting time” which, unless managed properly, can add up to a significant amount. Task force environment enables the engineers across all disciplines to communicate directly, to minimize iterative work, design revisions etc., all factors which improve the overall flow efficiency. And all things considered, that is the primary target.

At the outset it’s necessary to point out that simply performing tasks faster is not a viable solution. My distinguished colleague stated that in order to shorten lead times, we must not “run faster”, but “run a shorter distance” instead. In practice, this means focusing on the customer and generating added value while limiting everything else to the minimum.

The nature of fast track implementation requires many activities to run side by side, and as a consequence a typical all-inclusive engineering interface can split up and spread out over a time span. In practical terms, engineering freezes out at a higher rate, but in smaller increments. This trend requires information exchanges in real-time and, as mentioned earlier, global database applications provide tools for this purpose. In a way the focus is shifting away from traditional document oriented approach, and we are moving towards information modelling. That is also why the immediate communication within the teams, or task forces, is so important.

This is a very topical theme for us as the new fast track EPCM project has just been mobilized. It is going to utilize the new Neste Jacobs project model, which features many elements supporting the fast track project execution. At the basis of an efficient project team are clearly defined work processes and aligned roles and responsibilities. These areas have been incorporated into the project model and for example assigning powers to project team members will support timely decision making at appropriate levels. During this year additional elements of the implementation model will be rolled out to further enhance our delivery capabilities.

Best environment for developing sustainable improvements to delivery’s efficiency is within Neste Jacobs teams working around the world in a vast number of projects. Our target is to promote a culture of continuous improvement and I’m convinced it enables positive impacts for this project and others to follow.


Teemu Tiilikainen
Head of Engineering 

Posted: May 23rd 2017

The sustainable way for profitability improvement

Sustainability, including energy efficiency, resource efficiency and emission minimization is one of the current megatrends. With high energy prices and EU’s new energy efficiency legislation, energy efficiency has become one of the main drivers for our customers’ development activities and investments.

Neste Jacobs has proud history in the field of energy efficiency. We performed our first energy optimization projects already early 80’s and have been among the forerunners in the use of pinch-technology; a systematic methodology to optimize energy consumption of complex industrial processes. Since then, Neste Jacobs has performed hundreds of energy efficiency related projects. The added value which we have created for our customers is measured in billions of euros.

Two and half years ago our energy efficiency expertize was recognized when we started to work to productize our energy efficiency services and solutions. This has been very exciting time. Due to our legacy, customer feedback, competitor analysis and development work with our senior experts we have taken huge leaps forward with our offering portfolio, working effectiveness and work quality.

Currently I am proud to say that we have one of the best energy efficiency solution portfolios in the industry. It covers everything from identification of improvement potential with state-of-the-art energy analysis to energy management consulting, improvement execution and NAPCON solutions.

One of the main development areas has been integration to NAPCON, or rather looking NAPCON solutions through energy efficiency glasses. This has created solutions for energy monitoring, reporting and advising, as well as real time energy optimization with advanced process control.

Energy efficiency is a very relevant subject in Neste Jacob’s design and execution investment projects. International energy management standard ISO 50001 is becoming more and more commonly used in the process industry. Practically this means that energy efficiency has to be taken into consideration in the design and procurement of the investment project. We have done development work for also this matter and are soon ready to introduce ISO 50001 for our company, starting with ISO50001 certification of NJ Abu Dhabi, UAE location.

We are planning to start a technical blog with NAPCON team on LinkedIn Pulse focusing in energy, profitability and safety performance improvements with advanced technologies. There we will introduce case stories, views on industry trends and new technologies and much more. Stay tuned!

PS: Click the logo at the right top of the site or go



Kari Kunnari
Product Manager, Energy Efficiency

Posted: March 28th 2017

Singapore office to serve our customers in the SEA region

Starting a company office locally is a challenge, and Singapore operations are no exception to it. Many questions linger around when one take up this task, especially when economy is heading south, oil price is at its lowest level and US elections outcome was unknown.

As a year ago Neste Jacobs made a decision to establish full fledge operations and office in Singapore with a primary goal to support Neste, the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel and producer of high-quality oil products, and with a long term plan to expand our presence also in the SEA market.

With unconditional support from our management team, ball started to roll, and now we have a team of 10 people with a modern office space and the best talent being part of the global Neste Jacobs team.

How has this been achieved? Dedication, passion and team work with a great cooperation from all and the full autonomy to the stakeholders to execute the plan.

All our employees in Singapore completed their onboarding program in Finland, now execute multiple projects and are fully geared up to the successful completion of Neste Turnaround 2018. Though we have only few common working hours between Singapore and Finland, global systems and processes are working well. This is only possible when a team takes an initiative to be in contact with their reporting manager on a regular basis, stays up-to-date what is going on across all our offices.

This is just a beginning and I am confident that only way forward is to stay positive and create value for our customers in the region. This year we will also convert our operations from branch office to a local entity, continue to hire and build a strong sustainable team and business in this market place.

We look forward to start blooming our business in SEA region in the future.


Alpesh Shah
Regional Manager, Singapore  

Posted: March 13th 2017

Silent Warriors

In engineering, project management and technology company like Neste Jacobs, a large amount of different documents are handled on a daily basis. The work done in the service unit, Document Management Support and DAS-services, is more valuable than one might think.

When important documents are found quickly, document management is handled with care and the service works out smoothly, time and money are saved later on in the process, because the job of the designers becomes easier. The document management is a key part of the performance in any company, even though it isn’t represented very much in the media. Thus, I think we should be described as the silent warriors of these companies!

However, the adjective “silent” doesn’t always describe us. We work together and help each other. This comes naturally in an open space office. Also relaxation while working is important, so that better results are achieved ultimately. In our service unit for example birthdays and retirements are celebrated on a weekly basis with cakes, buns and brunches to mention a few.

I asked my colleagues, what do they like most in their job. Their instant answer was “Coffee break!” and laughter. After answering, they replied that they like the best the team spirit, nice colleagues and helping each other. It was also appreciated that some of the work is independent and the results are shown immediately. I also inquired what makes them do their job more efficiently. They responded that interesting and varied tasks give them motivation to do the job effectively. Their motivation is also affected by suitable timetable, constantly learning new issues and being treated equally.

Sanna Renkonen

Sanna Renkonen
Project Worker

Posted: February 20th 2017

Let’s break the reality bubbles

In today’s world, despite highly-developed science and vast amounts of information, we as voters, consumers or decision-makers, are more puzzled than ever.

The world is full of disinformation. It is difficult to know what is true or not true, or whether we receive relevant information at all.

Different interest groups are developing their own “reality bubbles” and parallel realities develop. At worst they paralyze societies and prevent them from optimal development.

This makes me think of decision-making in companies. During my career as a management consultant, I have supported dozens of companies at the moments of their strategic decision-making.

The most successful companies take time to study the decision-making case and factors impacting it. They create a well-analyzed knowledge platform and keep the key persons involved. This facilitates implementation of decisions considerably.

We as consultants step in by analyzing information, listening to various stakeholders in order to consider different points of view, developing various future scenarios, pointing out issues to be clarified and by evaluating profitability, risks and opportunities.

Our work is very much about analyzing information, weighting the credibility and the background of each information source, even considering the reasons behind any research we use as input material. We help our customers in building future visions which base on facts and logical thinking. We support our customers in building on real opportunities but also point our relevant risks.

Nobody shall make strategic decisions impacted by any short-term gains of any individual stakeholder. Good decisions are based on breaking the different reality bubbles, creating a common vision and on involving people. Success is based on grasping the commonly found opportunities and realizing them in a firm and sustainable manner.

Outi Ervasti
Head of Consulting

Posted: January 30th 2017

2016 behind – 2017 ahead

2016 marked yet another record year for Neste Jacobs in many terms. We hit again two digit growth numbers and exceeded our promise which we gave few years ago – double the company. We hit the record profitability which is the ultimate performance indicator of any business. As the books are not yet closed, I cannot give exact numbers now but they are indeed very good.

One of the major contributors to the top line growth 2016 was our new business unit – Investment Material Services (IMS). This business has been running now over a year and is seen as a considerable contributor to our business. The service is now available to all of our customers looking for efficient investment materials management and logistics.

Our main stream businesses, investment projects management and engineering, kept on going strong and we maintained our position regardless of a challenging market environment. Both in Performance Improvement (NAPCON solutions) and Technology Sales we managed to get new openings and the development of both of these businesses looks very positive.

While looking back it is also good to look forward. Neste Jacobs has now a very clear strategy for coming years and the focus is firstly in the Improved Delivery Capability.  With our Improved Delivery Capability we will concentrate mainly in the World Class Investment Projects performance. Many initiatives are on the way already.

Secondly, we will invest heavily in our Performance Improvement offering – NAPCON solutions. We are striving to build NAPCON into a World known brand in comprehensive operational excellence and energy efficiency fields.

Last but not least we will be looking into our Technology Portfolio and especially into our unique Technology Co-Development concept as a leading benefit for the entire industry. By so far with proven performance and a clear strategy ahead, we trust Neste Jacobs will be even stronger leader of direction in the industry, and the company which is for sure worth to follow-up closely and to get engaged with.

I wish Happy and Prosperous New Year to our current and new partners, customers and employees.



Jarmo Suominen

Posted: January 2nd 2017


Jarmo Suominen


Marja Nyyssönen-Askola

Manager, Business Process Development

Samuli Kyttälä

VP, Project Management, Neste Jacobs Abu Dhabi

Jaakko Nauha

Head of NAPCON,Sales

Mona Åkerholm-Kaapro

Account Manager, Biorefining

Tero Sario

Head of Project Management and Control

Kirsi Rintamäki


Pieter Van Rijs

Regional Manager, Neste Jacobs Netherlands

Heikki Pikkarainen

SVP, Sales and Marketing

Marcus Andersson

Regional Manager, Sweden

Jussi Likitalo

Regional Manager, West Finland

Outi Ervasti

Head of Consulting

Sanna Renkonen

Project Worker

Alpesh Shah

Regional Manager, Singapore  

Kari Kunnari

Product Manager, Energy Efficiency

Teemu Tiilikainen

Head of Engineering 

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