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Defining the Contractor’s scope of work


The EPC Contractor will develop and refine the contract price based on their assumptions on what work will be required to fulfil their obligations under the contract.  In order to do this, the full scope of work needs to be fully developed, without leaving gaps or ambiguous clauses that could conflict down the road.

[The less common, but still very important "Smell-O-Scope of Works"][1]
The less common, but still very important “Smell-O-Scope of Works”

The biggest disagreements that I’ve seen during construction have been the result of the Employer thinking that it was clear that a certain scope item was included in the contract, and the Contractor flat out denying this to be the case.  Hold all requirements such as “all works required for the facility to perform as intended” may seem like they cover all bases, but the Contractor could argue that the facility could perform perfectly well without them having to provide the Employer with well graded and compacted internal roads.

This is naturally linked very closely to the Employer’s requirements, or technical specifications, and definitions or clauses relating to the scope of works will cross reference these. But it goes further than that.  The Employer’s requirements set out what technical items need to be met in the design, procurement, construction, commissioning and initial operation of the facility, but the overall scope of works also looks into the Contractor’s general obligations and the manner in which they carry out their work.

Do they have to ensure that all relevant permits are in place?  Do they need to provide the engineering and design documentation to the Employer for review?  Is the design meant to be fit for purpose or just carried out with reasonable skill and care?  Do they need to meet any specified quality and reporting obligations?   Do they need to provide all labour/materials/equipment/tools?  Do they need to allow the Employer access to visit the site, witness activities and inspect completed work?  Do they need to provide documents, plans and manuals, such as the programme of works, testing and commissioning procedures, operations and maintenance manuals, training manuals, as-built documentation etc?  Do they have to ensure that all staff working onsite are adequately trained, suitably competent and authorised to carry out works?  Do they need to notify the Employer prior to conducting certain aspects of work?

The questions above are naturally not fully comprehensive and are clearly not unique to renewable projects.  In addition, not all of the answers to the questions above will necessarily be covered under a convenient “scope of works” section of the contract, and may be distributed through different contract sections, but all expectations, deliverables and responsibilities should be outlined and covered somewhere.