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Fluor settles windfarm dispute

15 May 13 A long-running dispute between client and contractor over the foundations of a windfarm in the Thames Estuary has finally been settled.

Greater Gabbard Offshore Winds Ltd (GGOWL), 50/50 joint venture between SSE and RWE Npower Renewables, and Fluor have reached agreement on all of the outstanding claims relating to the construction of the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm, the companies have announced.

Fluor lodged a $400M (£251M) claim for extra work it had to do on 52 of the 140 steel monopile foundations.  There were quality issues on 52 of the upper foundations (transition pieces) supporting turbines and the quality of up to 35 lower foundations supporting the same turbines. An arbitration hearing last year ruled against Fluor but that was still not the end of the matter.

The terms of the agreement now reached between GGOWL and Fluor will not be disclosed, the parties have agreed.

All 140 turbines at the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm have been energised and operational since September 2012.  In the six months to March 2013, the wind farm was operationally available to generate electricity for 87% of the time; this is forecast to increase to over 90% during 2013/14.  GGOWL is now confident about the long-term structural integrity of the disputed foundations.

GGOWL general manager Iwan Tukalo said: "The agreement between GGOWL and Fluor is a positive development, bringing to an end the contractual dispute between the two parties.  It is also encouraging that the wind farm has performed well since it was energised and our focus remains on ensuring it is a safe, efficient asset that makes a significant contribution to achieving the UK's targets for renewable energy."

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