Coal-fired power plant



In a long-running dispute culminating in arbitration, the owner of this Latin American coal power plant alleged a series of failings in its overall design and performance, impacting upon its operation and maintenance. HKA’s multi-disciplinary team provided a suite of expert witness services on behalf of the EPC contractor.


HKA was commissioned by the contractor’s legal team to investigate the technical issues in dispute and provide expert opinion.

Six experts from our Forensic Technical Service team provided the specialist expertise required in the following areas: fuel, boilers, turbines, electrical systems, balance of plant, and process engineering.

What we did

HKA technical experts examined evidence on multiple aspects of the plant’s design, performance and operations, including the composition of the coal, fuel handling plant, boiler tube leaks and abrasion, ash handling systems, general wear and tear, and equipment failures.

Our experts reviewed the contractor’s records and correspondence, and assessed written statements provided by staff involved in constructing, commissioning and operating the plant. Previous technical reports, some of which were provided by the owner, were also appraised.

Overall, the impartial opinions reached by our independent consulting experts showed that the design, installation and commissioning of the relevant plant systems were adequate and appropriate for the range of fuel properties set out in the contract. The vast majority of premature component failures and operational problems were due to the owner’s use of coal which was not in compliance with specification.

All six HKA experts provided testimony before the international arbitration tribunal.


The tribunal found largely in favour of our client. Only a small fraction of the plant owner’s claim, which ran to several hundred million US dollars, was allowed by the tribunal.

"The tribunal was with us on almost every point. It is a tremendous result, and our client is rightfully over the moon. This result is a reflection of the top-quality team we fielded and how you all performed. Well done again."
Counsel for the EPC contractor
Project Details
  • Client
    EPC contractor
  • Year
    2020 - 2022
  • Value
  • Services
    Forensic Engineering, Architectural and Technical, Expert
  • Sectors
    Construction and Engineering, Power and Utilities




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