Richard Cockburn, Partner in the Energy Group at Shepherd and Wedderburn says: “Developing a new standardised form of contracts for the offshore wind industry would slash time on negotiations between developers and the supply chain and save money.
“The industry should develop a bespoke contracts system for offshore wind that allocates technical and commercial risks in a fair and appropriate manner and is project finance friendly.”
Eric Doyle, Alternative Energy Manager at the Aberdeen-headquartered Xodus Group is also warning offshore wind developers to take a ‘long sighted’ approach or risk losing some of their supply chain to oil and gas projects as the industry picks up over the coming two years.
Doyle says: “Both industries share many of the same suppliers such as manufacturing, engineering consultancy and suppliers of cabling, so there is a real risk of creating a bottle neck, which could impact on project time.
“There has been a lot of consolidation recently of small and medium sizes oil and gas operators, which is giving a renewed boost to offshore orders, which could mean that the wind industry risks losing out if it does not plan for the longer term.”
Doyle adds: “The offshore wind industry should not underestimate the cost of risks and planning ahead with standard contracts can help to minimise some of those liability issues from the start of a project.”