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Fluor Takes Loss on Wind Farm Beset by Multiple Problems

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When Fluor Corp., Irving, Texas, reports its quarterly earnings on Nov. 4, results will include a $163-million write-off because of unexpected complications in building the 504-MW Greater Gabbard wind farm off the coast of England. The loss on the $1.8-billion, fixed-price contract with Scottish and Southern Energy plc means the project will be unprofitable, says Avram Fisher, an analyst who follows Fluor for BMO Capital Markets. Fluor, which announced the write-off on Oct. 18, blames problems with weather, materials and equipment delivery as well as additional costs for marine vessels and some subcontractors. “One of the factors wouldn’t have been an issue, [and] two could have been managed,” but the number of problems that occurred had a geometric effect on the project costs, says Keith Stephens, a spokesman. Construction will slow down during the winter season, but installation and commissioning of the remaining wind turbine generators, subsea inter-array cabling and grid substations are set to continue through the latter part of 2011. The overall project is expected to be completed in early 2012.

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