United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Fluor hopes for "swift" decision on Greater Gabbard dispute

Arbitration continues over foundations installation

The dispute between the developers of the Greater Gabbard offshore wind station, SSE and RWE, and its primary contractor, Fluor, continues. Arbitration is "ongoing" and there is "no change in our position," explained Fluor chief executive, David Seaton, on 2 August as the Fortune 500 company unveiled its second quarter results (April-June 2012). Seaton added that he hopes for a "swift" decision from arbitrators.

In May, Seaton described construction of Greater Gabbard as "essentially done". He added that claims by SSE and RWE of poor quality construction of turbine foundations "are completely without merit".

The two utilities allege that, as originally installed, 52 of the 140 turbine foundations were defective. The developers made their claim following a lawsuit brought against them by Fluor over alleged project delays.

At the end of July, SSE announced that almost all – 137 out of 140 – of Greater Gabbard's turbines had begun generating electricity.

Fluor is one of the world's largest companies operating in the engineering, procurement, construction, maintenance (EPCM), and project management arena, employing some 43,000 staff. During the first half of 2012, the company recorded revenues of $13.4bn and net earnings of $369.7m, with both figures ahead of the same period last year. Fluor's oil and gas activities include Canadian tar sands projects and shale gas extraction in the USA.

The Texas-headquartered company is due to develop the UK Round 3 Firth of Forth offshore wind zone jointly with SSE. How the two companies will work together, given their dispute over Greater Gabbard, is unclear. Submission of a consent application for the first phase of the Firth of Forth project is planned for this month, as Windpower Offshore reported last week.

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