Influencing developers and contractors to implement projects within the Programme’s time-bound constraints has required contractual incentives, as well as increased and focussed Programme support to help guide them toward the finishing line.
The performance of developers and contractors during the GET FiT implementation phase has varied substantially, and significant delays have been experienced across a number of projects. Poor performance and delays have to a large extent been a result of deficiencies within developer’s and/or contractor’s organisations, weak EPC contracts between developers and contractors, inexperienced contractors, and limited on site control and management.
Design teams common to multiple GET FiT projects have been stretched beyond capacity at various stages, resulting in delays in achieving design scheme freeze earlier during projects as well as the timely resolution of design issues and unforeseen conditions on site as they arise during construction. Ongoing design changes during construction have also resulted in substantial additional land acquisition and costs for some projects.
During 2017, GET FiT introduced several Programme management tools, which included increasing the frequency of supervision visits at the cost of the developer, unannounced site visits, temporary construction stops, as well as financial penalties, which were applied as an equivalent reduction in the allocated subsidy. During 2018, these tools were applied with increasing frequency to incentivise projects to complete in a timely and responsible manner. Temporary stops in construction and subsidy reductions were also applied to several projects in order to correct deficiencies, such as irresponsible construction practices in an environmental and social context (see Section 3 for further details), and to incentivise improvements in performance. Moving into 2019, additional quarterly visits will now be imposed on all but one of the remaining projects still to achieve commercial operation.
Increased supervision visits and Programme support during 2018 predominantly focussed on assisting developers and contractors to resolve design issues in an acceptable and timely manner and improving construction planning with the aim of minimising risks of further delays. Discussions have focussed on the sequencing and duration of works, understanding and managing risks such as periods of statistically higher river flows, changes in construction methodologies to achieve efficiencies and manage environmental and social risks, identifying potential weaknesses and bottlenecks in resources and supply chains, and allocating resources to meet construction schedules.