Bechtel filed a formal claim in December 2008 seeking schedule and cost relief under the lump sum, turnkey contract. Through an amended claim, Bechtel had been seeking a contract price adjustment of approximately $515 million and schedule relief of seven months and four months, respectively, for the completion of Unit 1 and Unit 2.
The settlement includes the following elements:
- We Power will make a series of payments to Bechtel totaling $72 million between now and the final completion of both units.
- Bechtel will receive 120 days and 60 days of schedule relief from the original guaranteed turnover dates for Unit 1 and Unit 2, respectively. The original guaranteed turnover date for Unit 1 was Sept. 29, 2009. For Unit 2, the original guaranteed turnover date was Sept. 29, 2010.
- We Power and Bechtel have resolved all pending claims against each other.
“Over the past 12 months, both We Power and Bechtel have devoted a significant amount of time and resources to analyzing the numerous issues involved,” said Rick Kuester, executive vice president of Wisconsin Energy. “We have reached this agreement, in large part, because we recognize the severe weather issues Bechtel faced over the past three years - and in particular, the winter of 2007-08 when the Milwaukee area was hit with nearly 100 inches of snow.”
Kuester added that he is pleased with the progress Bechtel is making on the project. “We appreciate their dedication in continuing the work through what has been a difficult dispute process.”
“At Bechtel, we recognize this settlement as a positive step forward for both organizations,” said Jack Futcher, president, Bechtel Power. “Bechtel is proud of our accomplishments at the Oak Creek site. We look forward to delivering a successful project,” Futcher added.
Construction of the Oak Creek expansion project began on June 29, 2005. Bechtel is now conducting performance tests on Unit 1. The revised guaranteed turnover date for Unit 1 is Jan. 27, 2010. However, Bechtel is now targeting turnover of the unit by mid-January 2010. The second unit at Oak Creek is targeted for turnover at the end of August 2010.
Currently, there are approximately 1,900 workers on site. The overall project is approximately 91 percent complete. The plant expansion includes two 615-megawatt coal-fueled generating units. These units are being equipped with state-of-the-art emission-control technology, making the Oak Creek facility one of the cleanest plants of its type in the world.
About We PowerWe Power is a Milwaukee-based subsidiary of Wisconsin Energy Corporation (NYSE: WEC) established as part of the company’s Power the Future plan to help address Wisconsin’s need for electrical energy in an environmentally responsible manner. Under the Power the Future plan, We Power will own approximately 2120 megawatts of new gas- and coal-fueled electric generation to help ensure a reliable and affordable electric supply for the next decade.
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