Turbine trouble

Ship owners entered an agreement to carry a number of wind turbines. They instructed one of ITIC’s naval architect members to carry out work to enable the vessel to load the highest possible number of wind turbines. The member’s work involved the layout and design of supports to be welded in the holds.

The conversion works were carried out by a ship yard on the basis of the member’s design.

At the first load port, the ship owner found that due to a bulkhead the supports in the hold could only be used to load four turbines instead of the intended six.

The ship owners commenced carrying the wind turbines four at a time. They brought a claim against the naval architect for the costs of redesigning and rectifying the supports as well as the additional costs of performing more voyages. The estimate for the rectification works was EUR 40,000. The owner’s estimated claim for additional expenses was EUR 60,000. The owners made it clear that this figure would increase if many more voyages were performed with only four turbines on board.

ITIC arranged for an independent expert to review the position. The expert found a solution to the problem of the bulkhead which would only cost about EUR 16,000. Discussions were held with the owners to reach a settlement agreement and arrange a suitable time to carry out the works which would enable the vessel to carry six turbines on the remaining voyages.

It became apparent that the economic benefit of arranging the works was marginal and the ship owners agreed to accept a payment of EUR 26,750 to cover their additional costs. The bill was picked up by ITIC, net of the applicable deductible, plus all the fees.

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