Guide could stop PFI project delays

31 January 2002
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31 January 2002

A forthcoming guide to avoiding delays to construction projects could be especially useful to companies in private finance initiative (PFI) deals, according a leading industry lawyer.

Jeremy Winter, construction and projects partner at global law firm Baker & McKenzie, who led the drafting of the document, said delays bite hard on PFI projects.

"Unlike in a traditional construction project, the PFI project company is dependent on getting the construction phase completed for its revenue to start flowing. It therefore has the strongest possible incentive to avoid delays," he said.

The 70-page guide, Protocol for Determining Extensions of Time, due to be published in April by the Society of Construction Law, will aim to stop delays happening in the first place, said Winter.

Unless a delay by the owner of the project pushes back the contract completion date, then the main contractor of the project cannot automatically claim an extension on completion.

• The government is updating its guide to private finance initiative (PFI) contracts in a bid to speed up delivery of the projects.

Proposals include clients having a 50-50 share in any profits when a contractor refinances its PFI with its banks.

SMjan2002

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