United States engineering giant Fluor has lost a battle over £251M of extra work it had to do on wind turbines for the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm.
The firm said it had received an “adverse decision” from an arbitration panel.
Fluor had lodged a $400M (£251M) claim against client Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Limited (GGOWL) - a 50/50 joint venture between SSE and RWE Npower Renewables. It had sought the money for extra work it had done on 52 of the project’s 140 steel monopile foundations (NCE 6 October 2011).
The dispute focused on reworking of 52 defective steel monopiles and transition pieces. Fluor claimed that a design change amounted to a change in specification and that it should be paid for the resulting costs.
But SSE said last year that the foundations were defective and that the “onus” was on Fluor to “fix” them.
This week’s ruling sided with GGOWL.
Fluor chairman and chief executive David Seaton defended his company’s work.
“Fluor delivered a quality project, and we are extremely disappointed with this unexpected decision, especially considering recent statements that acknowledge that all 140 turbines are commissioned and exporting electricity, and the overall performance is more than 10% ahead of the client’s expectations,” he said.
The wind farm is about 25km off the Suffolk coast and consists of 140, 3.6MW Siemens wind turbines, in water depths of between 24m and 34m.
The 230t, 16m long transition pieces and the average 62m long, 600t monopiles were fabricated in China and shipped to the UK.
In 2009 a routine check of the components in the UK revealed there appeared to be “ovalling” − in the monopiles, where they had deformed.
This is thought to have happened in transit or at the fabrication yard. As a result, the monopiles did not fit into the transition pieces.