Gamesa in dispute with French O&M provider

FRANCE: French operation and maintenance (O&M) provider Windtechnics has said it faces the prospect of bankruptcy following a contractual dispute with largest customer Gamesa.

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Windtechnics won the tender to operate and maintain 65% of Gamesa's French wind installations in 2008. The contract was then extended to cover 260MW in France and 76MW in Romania and Bulgaria, representing over 75% of Windtechnics' turnover.

Now, Windtechnics claims it has not been paid for services provided over the last 18 months. However, Gamesa said WindTechnics threatened to walk out of negotiations in June, having demanded a "significant" price increase. Windtechnics also implied that it might launch legal proceedings, according to Gamesa.

Gamesa denies it owes Windtechnics money. It said: "Gamesa has paid all pending Windtechnics invoices related to their completed and contracted O&M scope under the original purchase order and the current O&M contract."

Gamesa terminated its contract with effect from 12 July and Windtechnics now has until 31 October in which to find a buyer.

In total, Windtechnics manages roughly 700 machines with a combined capacity of 2GW in France, Bulgaria, Romania and the UK. The company's commercial manager Julien Dupluis said it also has "a strong pipeline of contracts" waiting to be signed. But first it has to find a buyer.

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