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Court orders MT Højgaard to pay for foundation failure

Robbin Rigg wind farm

The Supreme Court has ordered Danish contractor MT Højgaard (MTH) to pay €26.5M (£22.5M) to energy company Eon for repairs for failed foundations on two offshore windfarms.

The judgement relates to the foundations structures installed at the Robin Rigg windfarm in the Solway First which were designed by Ramboll and installed by MTH between 2007 and 2009 but failed soon after completion of the project.

The dispute relates to a technical requirement from Eon to design foundations in accordance with DNV design standard J101, however, it was discovered after the foundations failure that the standard contained an error which led to the axial load capacity of the foundations being over estimated.

Eon first took MTH to the Construction and Technology Court in 2014 where the contractor was found liable for the remedial costs but a Court of Appeal judgement later overturned this decision, which led to Eon taking the case to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court found in Eon’s favour because the technical requirement was a minimum standard and it was MTH’s responsibility to identify whether the design met service life criteria, as it was providing a warranty, and, if not, whether more rigorous standards should be applied.

MTH has not issued a statement commenting on the case but has said that the judgement will not affect its financial forecasts for 2017, however, the legal costs of the case will have an impact.

Eon has not commented on the case.

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