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Højgaard wins appeal over Scottish wind farm foundation failure

The Court of Appeal in London has ruled that MT Højgaard is not liable for the costs of repairing the failed grouted connections on the Robin Rigg Offshore Wind Farm project.

This decision overturns a ruling in April 2014 by the Construction and Technology Court that found the contractor to be responsible for the failures on the Eon Climate and Renewables project.

Following the Court of Appeal decision, MT Højgaard issued the following statement: “The facts of the case are that between 2007 and 2009, MT Højgaard designed, fabricated and installed foundations for the Robin Rigg Offshore Wind Farm, off the west coast of Scotland. Following completion of the works, weaknesses were discovered in the grouted connections of the foundations as a result of errors in the then applicable international standard issued by DNV.”

The DNV standards were applied to the project by Højgaard’s designer Ramboll. The standard contained a fundamental error that resulted in a significant overestimation of the axial load capacity for wind turbines with grouted connections. Ramboll was unaware of this error when it carried out the design.

Højgaard’s statement added: “The wind farm client, Eon Climate and Renewables, claimed MT Højgaard was responsible for the problem with the grouted connections and that MT Højgaard should pay damages, in particular the cost of rectifying the problem. MT Højgaard denied liability arguing that the group had observed the applicable international standards as required by the client.

“The Court of Appeal found that MT Højgaard was not liable to Eon in respect of the problem with the grouted connections and in particular that there was no ‘fit for purpose’ obligation.”

Eon has not issued a statement regarding the Court of Appeal decision.

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