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Greater Gabbard wind farm to complete this year

30 Sep 11 The delayed Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm is back on course for completion before the end of the year despite an ongoing contractual dispute, says Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE).

Jumbo Offshore installing transition pieces
Jumbo Offshore installing transition pieces

SSE is 50% owner of Greater Gabbard Offshore Winds Ltd (GGOWL), along with RWE of Germany. The 500MW project off the Suffolk coast will be the world's largest offshore wind farm when completed. Progress has been hampered by weather delays, the bankruptcy of a subcontractor, Subocean, and contractual dispute between the client and principal contractor Fluor.

All 140 monopiles and transition pieces are now installed and turbine installation has resumed. Some 115 turbines have now been installed and 72 turbines are now producing energy. 

GGOWL remains in dispute with Fluor over the need for assurance of the quality of monopiles and transition pieces used in the early stages of the development and supporting potentially up to 52 of the turbines.

Fluor is claiming £300m for time and costs associated with alleged additional testing and repairs of some of the welds on these pieces of equipment. GGOWL contests this and is continuing to test the structural integrity of a number of the monopiles and transition pieces that are the subject of the dispute.

GGOWL retains the option of submitting its own substantial claim against Fluor should the need arise, it said. 

SSE said: “Although disputes of this kind can present potential risks to project timetables, all 140 turbines should be installed and energised, as planned, before the end of 2012.”

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