Time is never enough: Early Works

Early Works, sometime also called Preliminary Works, Limited Notice To Proceed or something similar, are a common project strategy that is currently more frequent than ever before.

Basically, it means that some field works, engineering tasks and/or procurement activities are done before that the EPC contract enter into force.

EPC contracts have usually a long list of condition precedents to be fulfilled – basically things that should happen to give validity to the contract.

However, due to demanding planning and “hard” deadlines such as changes in the regulatory framework or a variety of other issues, it’s often difficult to wait for that point in time.

Additionally, negotiations can be longer than expected or problem with project finance closure are a reality in the majority of the developments.

Therefore Early Works are often the only chance to keep the project alive. Basically is a separate agreement between the customer and the contractor where both party acknowledge the situation and recognize that some tasks need to be performed immediately to keep the time schedule of the wind farm feasible.

It’s usually a “light” contract, a few pages highlighting the main terms and conditions. The content of the early works is obviously project specific.

Some activities that are frequently performed upfront are:

  • Geotechnical investigations
  • Foundation design
  • Finalization of the internal layout
  • Engineering and procurement of the main transformer

However, in the past I’ve seen a variety of tasks included in the Early Works, from the engineering of the substation to support to permitting for wind turbine transportation (in some countries authorities can be VERY slow).

I’ve also read of a wind farm in a very remote area with an Early Works package including an air runways, so as mentioned before the type of early works are dependent on the specific wind farm planning.

4 responses to “Time is never enough: Early Works”

  1. Eduardo Cebollero Avatar
    Eduardo Cebollero

    Great entry Francesco. Enabling Works is also a term widely used when you need to enhace access roads. Other items normally in the critical path are the anchor cages and towers.

  2. Muthubalakrishnan Avatar

    Good i am following your article more than two year,
    Keep it up
    Thanks for information sharing

  3. hakim Avatar

    Thanks for this article, but i want to know what is the approach in case the financing closure don’t occurs, which party shall take the risk to start works and after leave the Project ?

    1. Francesco Miceli Avatar

      Hello Hakim,
      in case there is no financial closure the developer would pay for the early works costs (unless there is a different agreement in place, but that would be an unusual situation).
      Best regards,

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