Tuesday, April 24, 2012

UK Offshore Wind Farm Claims Fluor Caused Foundation Defects

Edinburgh based electric utility SSE plc claims welding defects in 52 of 140 steel tube foundations for windmills in its under construction offshore Greater Gabbard wind farm are causing a two year delay in completion of the Fluor $1.8 billion, lump sum turnkey project. Fluor CEO David Seaton disputes the claim. The turbines in question are located in waters up to 32 meters deep, and the tubes themselves are as large as 6.3 meters in diameter, weighing 700 metric tons.

The Chinese fabricated steel tubes are the basis of Fluor’s charges against the project of $343 million in 2010, and another $60 million last year, as reported in company filings. Ownership of the project has changed hands while under construction, with Fluor selling its interest to SSE, which also acquired Dublin based Airtricity Holding Ltd. Airtricity had been co-owner of the project with Fluor. Then in 2008 SSE sold half interest in the project to Essen, Germany based RWI Innogy GmbH.

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