YUNLIN BLOG – THE CONTRACTS MANAGER
28 April 2021 – For a large project like Yunlin, contractual support during project execution is crucial
Marianne Tas is a Contracts Manager at Jumbo. Here she gives a brief outline of her role on the Yunlin offshore wind project. A sound legal framework is vital in any project, but a large project like Yunlin calls for day-to-day contractual support too.
Yunlin is a 640MW offshore wind farm under construction off the coast of Taiwan. It is being developed by German onshore and offshore wind farm operator wpd, the Starwind Offshore consortium and Greenwing Energy. Jumbo was contracted to execute the transportation and (part of) the installation of Yunlin’s wind turbine substructures. This series of Blogs takes a closer look the work involved.
Your job is Contracts Manager. What does this entail?
As Contract Manager for the Yunlin project, I support the project team in drafting and reviewing all contract documentation and correspondence and give advice on any legal questions that come up in the day-to-day operations. I work mainly with the project director, project manager and engineer and the cost controller, reading correspondence and filtering the key information for commercial and contractual relevant matters. My main responsibility is to ensure a proper execution of the contract within the legal and insurance framework.
So the ‘legal’ work doesn't stop once the contracts are signed?
No, not at all – in fact, I work primarily on the execution of the project. Our legal department is involved during the tender phase of a project – when the terms and conditions are being discussed, and the risks are analysed. Once the contract is signed, the project team takes over. Their work is based on what is written in the contract – and with the larger projects like Yunlin, there is a contract manager to provide support to the project team. The project managers have all the necessary experience – however, as projects get bigger and contracts become more complex, it is very good that the project managers have such contractual support.
Is there such a thing as a standard contract?
For the oil and gas market, there are a number of standard contracts, which of course can be modified if necessary. Offshore wind projects are another matter. Often a standard contract as starting point is used, but these are so heavily amended that you cannot really say that these are standard anymore.
The Yunlin contract was signed before the coronavirus pandemic. How is Jumbo handling this challenging situation?
Contracts specify which party covers which risks. However, regarding the coronavirus pandemic, no one could have predicted this. Yes, we have had the SARS virus in the past, but this is not comparable to the current situation. For the Yunlin project, everyone is adversely affected. It is certainly a challenge, but how do we tackle it? By having good communication and a good relationship with our client – trying to find a solution that works for both parties.
How has the coronavirus changed the legal aspect of Jumbo’s operations?
The contracts that we have signed during and since the pandemic have changed. We know about the possibilities and the implications of a pandemic. Therefore, we speak to contractual parties about risks and costs. Once again, good communication is vital.
Can you tell me about the exiting aspects of your job?
You work with a wide range of people; colleagues, clients and third parties. The variety is great, every day is different and you are always learning. You gain a lot understanding of the realities on site when going offshore during the installation phase; if the opportunity arises then I would certainly love to do this (again)!
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