Abu Dhabi will build the world’s largest solar power plant
It has recently been announced that Abu Dhabi will become the home of the world’s largest solar power plant, highlighting the region’s commitment to sustainable building and utilising renewable energy sources, which are aligned with the UAE Energy Plan 2050.
Costing approximately $8700 million, the 1.17 gigawatt plant will provide enough power to approximately 200,000 homes. Responsible for the construction works will be a consortium encompassing Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA), Marubeni Corporation and manufacturing company Jinkosolar.
The new plant will be funded 25 percent by equity and 75 percent by debt, with local and international banks supporting the funding of this debt. The project will also become one of the most cost effective energy projects in the world, with the consortium offering to provide electricity at a non-weighted cost of 2.94 cents per kWh, according to The National.
Expected to complete in 2019, Abdullah Musleh Al Ahbabi, Chairman of ADWEA said, “The tenders for the project was opened in April of last year. We received more than 90 proposals from the world’s largest companies in solar energy, which indicated the investors’ trust in the authority,” he added.
Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed, the vice chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, also commented, "this project must be associated with the creation of advanced research centres to drive the economic and technological journey, placing the UAE on the world map of knowledge-based economies.”
Contractor issues head disputes list in 2020: Arcadis report
The average value of disputes globally rose from $30.7 million in 2019 to $54.26 million in 2020, while the length of disputes fell from 15 months in 2019 to 13.4 months, according to an Arcadis report.
The data, featured in Arcadis' 11th annual report, illustrates industry-wide ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic although interestingly the overall volume of disputes stayed relatively the same in 2020 as in 2019.
While trends in the value and length of disputes varied from region to region, all regions surveyed saw an increase in "mega disputes" related to bigger capital programs and private projects. Notably, more than 60% of survey respondents encountered project impacts due to COVID-19.
Owners, contractors, or subcontractors failing to understand and/or comply with their contractual obligations became the leading cause of construction disputes in 2020 (jumping from 3rd place in 2019), followed by owner-directed changes and third-party or force-majeure changes as the second and third-leading causes, respectively.
Highlights from the report include:
- Proper contract administration was a theme across the globe for the successful and early resolution of disputes
- Most disputes were settled through party-to-party negotiation, and a willingness to compromise played a key role in early resolution
- Among regions surveyed, the buildings (education, healthcare, retail/commercial, government) sector saw the most disputes
- In North America, construction dispute value rose from $18.8 million in 2019 to $37.9 million in 2020, while the length of disputes shortened from 17.6 to 14.2 months.
While cost and length have changed since 2019, risk management was still seen as the most effective claims avoidance tactic, while owner/contractor willingness to compromise was once again the top-ranked factor for the mitigation/early resolution of disputes.
"COVID-19 irrevocably changed every industry," said Roy Cooper, head of contract solutions for Arcadis North America. "Construction disputes experts will have to continue to adapt, even post-pandemic, as workforce expectations, climate events and government infrastructure funding change how projects are designed and contracted in the future."
The research presented in the report was compiled by Arcadis based on survey responses, global construction disputes the team handled in 2020 and contributions from industry experts.