In this spotlight on managing risk and avoiding disputes during the construction phase of an energy project, we are looking at challenges during the handover stage. As part of handover, energy contracts will typically include a comprehensive testing and commissioning regime in order to demonstrate that the system is safe, compliant, reliable, and delivers the output required under the agreement.  Given the importance of testing and commissioning - and the implications for the project if handover doesn’t go as planned - disagreements can, and do, arise.

Common commissioning issues can be mitigated by:

  • clearly defining and allocating roles. Responsibility for various pre-commissioning, commissioning, start-up and testing tasks may vary between the project owner's commissioning team, the contractor's commissioning team, and any third-party consultants.
  • ensuring that the contract clearly allocates responsibility for feedstock and other consumables necessary for testing.
  • making sure the test parameters and success criteria are clear. 
  • keeping a detailed record of the tests, data, and any corrective action taken - and ensuring that this information is safely secured and preserved. In addition to providing evidence of satisfaction, such records can serve as a useful baseline when comparing the future performance of the facility. 

Download our Energy Disputes Guide to find out more.