A Lamb Associates Limited

Blackburn Meadows Biomass

Blackburn Meadows Biomass, Sheffield

The Blackburn Meadows project was an architecturally unique 30MW Renewable Energy CHP Plant located in Sheffield, built on behalf of E-ON.

An orange translucent clad boiler house forms the key part of the plant and is illuminated from within, with silhouettes of silos and other elements made visible at night creating a local landmark for Sheffield. This striking project received a number of architectural awards.

Imtech Group were engaged to carry out the design, supply and installation of the electrical, control and instrumentation package and erection works for the Boiler Island. The Contract was a bespoke Purchase Order and contained elements from JCT, NEC and FIDIC. The works were subject to over 400 Variation Orders and over 300 Notices of Delay. This was a challenging project technically due to interfaces with specialists and the nature and complexity of the engineering systems.

ALA were engaged by Imtech to conduct a commercial analysis of the account.  A primary contemporaneous source of information for disruption was the cable schedules which ALA utilised to trace visits and activities at the junction boxes, these were split into power and control cabling then each visit was plotted on a chart. This analysis revealed that on average junction boxes were visited 34 times to meet new sequencing requirements to prioritise energisation of certain systems.

In order to demonstrate the delay, ALA sliced the project into six periods or windows and conducted a time slice analysis in each delayed period. We reinforced the windows analysis by undertaking an in-depth evaluation of individual systems that had been subjected to significant and repeated change by exploring the granular technical detail of the Boiler Air Flue Gas, Burners, Fuel Dosing Biomass, Trace Heating and integration of HVAC system.

The commercial analysis was disputed. The dispute resolution mechanism in the Contract was Arbitration in Austria under the Vienna Rules. We engaged Austrian Law firm, Honsig & Küenburg to commence Arbitration proceedings.  ALA then attended a pre-arbitration meeting in Vienna and were able to reach a satisfactory settlement.

Project Value: £150m
Client: Imtech Group

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