Since the beginning of October, work on the five-billion building has largely been down since the county administrative board made serious criticism of the environmental work in the workplace. Natural environments of national interest had gotten in the way of the excavators and from one day to the next, total stoppages in the project were fought.
Some parts of the building have been able to continue, but in the areas where Nordex has contracted the main contractor Active Works, the machines have been standing still since the beginning of October. Active Works was taken in by Nordex to build roads and foundations in three "modules" in the future park.
Active Works, in turn, hired some 30 subcontractors to do the job themselves. This mainly concerned machine owners from Värmland and western Sweden.
Crumbling cooperation in the spring
- Early on, Nordex begins to have views on how Active Works and their subcontractors perform the job. Just a few weeks after construction starts in the spring of 2019, the collaboration begins to sparkle.
Warning letters will be sent during the summer
- During the summer and autumn of 2019, Nordex sends three warning letters to Active Works and simultaneously documents just over 70 errors and deficiencies that they discovered that relate to nature protection and the working environment in the area. Active also claims to have sent warning letters to Nordex.
- Following an inspection, the Swedish Work Environment Authority also addresses early criticism of the project.
- During the summer and autumn, payments from Active Works to their subcontractors also start to lag.
Immediate stop decision
- On October 2, the County Administrative Board performs an inspection of the construction site, which leads to the developer, Nysäter Wind - that is, the client of the park - deciding on an immediate stop. What has been discovered is that the building destroyed protected natural values in the area.
- The stoppage means that hundreds of machines and personnel are placed without work duties against a promise that they will receive 80 percent of downtime compensation until the job can be resumed. At most, it should have been 121 machines and 258 people, says Active Works.
Six weeks later - construction can start again
- After the work has been at a standstill for six weeks, the county administrative board gives a clear sign that the construction can start again, but then it turns out that there has been a deep conflict between Nordex and Active Works about the payments. Nordex makes Active Works responsible for the quality deficiencies in the project and the expensive construction stoppage. Nordex does not believe it has received any value for the 123 million paid out to Active Works, while Active believes it is because the construction is poorly prepared.
- According to Nordex, Active Works has failed to meet any of the goals set in the project, according to internal documentation.
- At the same time, Nordex and Nysäter Wind receive criticism for the poor preparation of the park and the lack of design.
- The conflict with Nordex, in turn, means that Active Works will definitely stop paying the subcontractors.
Trouble turns into a war of positions
- During November and December, the conflict turns into a war of positions between Nordex and Active Works. When Active Works is demanded for money from their subcontractors, they blame Nordex, while Nordex claims that they paid what should be paid. Work is never resumed without the subcontractors remaining in the park without work or payments. The promised downtime compensation is delayed.
Cancels the contract
- At the end of December, Nordex finally cancels its contract with Active Works and is now starting to make cash payments directly to the subcontractors. 40 million is paid extra, says Nordex.
- At the same time, Active Works is appealing to the district court to try to bankrupt Nordex Sverige AB for what is said to be unpaid invoices. Bankruptcy never becomes relevant. Instead, the parties agree to settle in arbitration.
Eliminated at the turn of the year
- The contract with Active Works is canceled at the turn of the year. They then leave Viksjö while several of their subcontractors still, after a six-month hiatus, stayed in the hope of getting paid. At the beginning of March they also leave the park.
- Active Works is now undergoing a corporate restructuring at Stockholm District Court with liabilities of SEK 204 million to its subcontractors in Viksjö.
- An affiliate of Active Works is also under reconstruction with debts of SEK 276 million to the subcontractors. Of that money, the debt to the subcontractors is SEK 50 million, the company says.
- In February, Nordex signed a contract with Skanska to resume construction of Active Works.
Footnote: The text is updated.