ENERGY giant SSE Generation has been awarded more than £100 million in compensation on appeal following the collapse of a hydro-scheme tunnel near Loch Ness.
The company made the claim against contractor Hochtief after the underground passage at the Glendoe site near Fort Augustus was found to have collapsed just a day after the official opening by the Queen in June 2009.
Following work to repair the damage, the Glendoe scheme began full generation in 2012, producing an estimated £20 million in revenue each year.
In 2016 a commercial judge at the Court of Session in Edinburgh ruled against SSE in the substantial part of their claim, saying that he was satisfied that Hochtief did exercise reasonable skill and care in the project.
However, an appeal hearing at the Court of Session has now ruled two to one in SSE’s favour and called for the firm to be awarded more than £107 million over the cost of the recovery project along with a further £1 million damages.
Lord Glennie said in his appeal judgement that he had concluded SSE had made good its case and that the fault was in the implementation of the design rather than in the design itself.
"It was that failure in implementation of the design which resulted in the fact that the tunnel on handover did not have a design life of 75 years," he continued.
SSE wholesale director Martin Pibworth welcomed the decision.
"The Hydro Scheme had to be shut down for nearly three years whilst rectification works resulting from a defect which existed prior to take over of the scheme by SSE were carried out," he added.
"Since its re-opening in 2012, Glendoe has been making an important contribution to Britain’s electricity supply."