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Scottish and Southern to take legal action over Glendoe hydro scheme

Energy firm Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) is to take legal action against contractor Hochtief for losses it has incurred on the £160M Glendoe hydro-electricity scheme.

The plant was less than a year old when a rockfall in its 6.2km long headrace tunnel brought operations to a halt in June 2009.

It finally came back into service in August last year after extensive repairs understood to have costmpre than £100M.

Client SSE is now seeking compensation from Hochtief for the repair work and losses incurred from loss of generating capacity at the power plant.

“SSE is continuing to pursue its legal and insurance options,” it said in its annual results statement. “In particular, it has lodged at the Court of Session [Scotland’s supreme civil court] notification of its intention to call a comprehensive action against Hochtief Solutions and Hochtief (UK) Construction in respect of all losses resulting from the tunnel collapse at Glendoe in 2009.”

Repairing the unlined headrace tunnel involved building a new 600m long, 5m diameter tunnel to bypass the collapsed section along with a 50m long 6m diameter access tunnel.

The bypass tunnel was initially expected to be around 900m long but this was later reduced, which meant that the length of the access tunnel could also be shortened.

Contractor for the repair work was a partnership between sister companies Bam Nuttall, Bam Ritchies and Wayss & Freytag.

Greater Gabbard dispute

SSE has also confirmed that it has settled its dispute with Fluor over the Greater Gabbard offshore windfarm. The main claim related to the quality of up to 52 upper foundations (transition pieces) supporting turbines and the quality of up to 35 lower foundations supporting the same turbines.

It added that all of the 140 turbines at Greater Gabbard are now fully commissioned, and have been energised and operational since September 2012. It added that it expects no further problems with the turbines.

“Based on the actual stress levels monitored during the operation of the turbines and a detailed engineering assessment of the impact of these levels on the known defects in some foundations, SSE is now confident about the long-term structural integrity of the disputed foundations.” it said.

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