Operations Director /CEO – Wind farm construction – Djibouti

Airswift


Background
Our client are completing the construction of on onshore Wind Farm being connected to the national grid with a comprehensive service package covering the entire operation, dispatch, and maintenance of the plant transitioning the project to form a fully functional owner-side operational wind farm.
Job Description
They seek to recruit a Chief Executive Officer / Operations Director to oversee and coordinate the efficient transition of the Project from the start of operations and thereafter to direct the project into a fully operational power generation company, ensuring that the business operates to the highest international standards of governance, ethical standards, and transparency.

The CEO will be predominantly based in Djibouti City although a partial remote working arrangement would be acceptable depending on the requirements of the Project. The CEO will be supported by administrative, HR, HSSE, and technical operations staff based at the head office in Djibouti and at the Project site office.

The CEO will safeguard the interests of the company and promote the optimisation of the power plant, monitor, and maintain compliance with all licensing and national requirements, and ensure that the O&M contractors meet their contractual obligations with the overall objective to ensure that the revenues and returns expectations are met while keeping the board always fully informed of developments.

The CEO will liaise with the offtaker of the Project, the national grid operator, developing a positive reputation with the government, and other relevant stakeholders, as well as shareholders, lenders, suppliers, contractors, and other partners in Djibouti on behalf of the company.

The CEO will also be responsible for identifying, developing, and maintaining the strategic relationships required for the successful running of the Company, including managing, and working closely with stakeholders to resolve issues, overcome barriers to success and improve financial and operational performance.

The CEO will report to the Board and meet regularly with an Operations Steering Committee (OSC), which will consist of Investor representatives and will oversee the implementation plan for the strategic objectives as agreed by the Board and the Shareholders.

The CEO will be responsible for managing and leading a high-performance executive management team, whilst preserving and fostering an internal culture for service delivery and attaining set goals, overseeing all the affairs of the Company, initiating, and driving the implementation of the corporate policies operations of the Company

The roles and responsibilities of the CEO include:
Construction – Operations Transition (est. 4-6 months)

  • Close-out remaining punch list items, claims, insurance issues, or obligations on the EPC contractor from the construction period.
  • Support any remaining obligations under the power purchase agreement (PPA) with EDD and facilitate a smooth working relationship.
  • Coordinate the interfaces between any construction-period and operations-period advisers to the Project, including technical, environmental, and social (E&S), legal, tax, etc, so as to maintain a constant level of service to the Project.
  • Assist with local supervision and monitoring of any works on the site post Taking Over.
  • Assist with closing out all aspects of the refinancing and engaging with all stakeholders involved.
  • Engage with outgoing construction personnel to handover experience and “history” from the Project.

Full Operations (permanent)

  • Maintain health and safety as a superior priority and ensure policies, regulations, compliance, and H&S control measures are adhered to and applied across the project. 
  • Track and report regularly (to the OSC and Board) on the Project performance, budget, and all other relevant KPIs.
  • Oversee, assist, and supervise company’s personnel or seconded personnel in their tasks concerning the company operations, and coordinate closely with the Board regarding human resource matters.
  • Together with the company’s team, ensure the operations budget is adhered to.
  • Together with company’s team, ensure that the O&M Contractor meets all their contractual obligations and requirements.
  • Support with community engagement and coordinating a response (together with the team) to any grievances raised against the Project.
  • Liaise with the E&S team to ensure compliance with all environmental and other permit requirements, including the Environmental and Social Action Plan.
  • Attend and provide input, insights, assistance, guidance, and advice, in meetings, calls and discussions with relevant stakeholders (EDD, Ministries, Shareholder Meetings, etc).
  • Ensure that all documentation on the Project is carefully and correctly maintained and stored as per the company’s data storage protocol.
  • Ensure that all aspects of the Project meet with Investor and lender’s compliance standards.
  • Prepare reports, updates and risk matrixes concerning project performance progress for the OSC, the lenders and Board.
  • Keep a register of and monitor the financial covenants, and obligations as specified by lenders in the financing agreements and provide period reports to lenders
  • Assist, guide and supervise the Project technical adviser/company’s team to monitor for drops in performance, shortcomings in the Contractor scope (incl. maintenance and spare parts), and opportunities for optimisation.
  • Together with company’s team, ensure that all environmental, social, stakeholder, community and political engagement is executed according to the various plans and strategies.
  • Manage company’s inputs to claims related to insurable events.
  • Monitor the company’s policies and recommend amendments where appropriate.
  • Any other tasks not aforementioned and approved by the Board that assist in bringing the Project into a regular operational state and optimising performance.

Direct Reports

  • The CEO will report directly to the Board and regularly consult with the Operations Steering Committee or other committees of the Board as may be required.
  • The CEO will have/develop various subordinates (part- and full-time) throughout the project related to engineering, operations, finance, community liaison, office administration, and E&S.

Candidate Expectations (Minimum)

  • At least 15 years of experience in project management on infrastructure projects.
  • Working experience in the operation of power plants on behalf of the plant owner
  • Capable of effectively enforcing contractual conditions and interfacing with all key stakeholders, including the grid operator (EDD), relevant regulators, lenders, and the O&M contractor (Siemens Gamesa and subcontractors).
  • Capable of managing a team of junior team members, as well as interfacing with other key team leads and a general directorship.
  • Capable to communicate fluently in written / spoken English and French.

Candidate Expectations (Preferred)

  • Experience with the operation of renewable energy projects, in particular wind farms
  • Have a knowledge and understanding of project finance agreements
  • Have fluency or comprehension of other regionally spoken languages, such as Arabic

To apply for this job please visit www.airswift.com.