A long time ago already the FIDIC Contracts Committee (CC) has identified a need for a new set of Conditions of Contract to be suitable on design, build and operate projects where a brown field scenario is to be followed and the Contractor is responsible for simultaneous operation of an existing facility as well as the design, construction and operation of an upgraded facility. The operation and maintenance of the upgraded facility would be envisaged for a period of 20 years prior to the facility being handed over to the Owner/ Employer. The related Terms of Reference (TOR) were established in 2011 and the TG started working at that time. In 2014 a first draft was presented and then step by step things changed. While initially it was planned and intended to derive the FIDIC Bronze Book from the FIDIC Gold Book it was decided shortly after 2017 to harmonize the FIDIC Bronze Book with the 2017 series of contract.
Still the Bronze Book will have a lot of similarities with the FIDIC Gold Book (2008). Still the whole contract period approach is crucially important to outcomes. The aim is to mobilise the innovative powers of the contractor in order to decrease the overall production costs in for instance cum, litres, or megawatt, cost per patient per day, over the whole life cycle of the facility. However, in particular regarding the claims and disputes´ provisions the Bronze Book resembles the FIDIC Yellow Book 2017. Some special features of the FIDIC Gold Book have been abandoned, like for instance the DAB rulings on delayed claim notices.
The core feature of the upcoming FIDIC Bronze Book is presumably the “Asset Inventory” which is aimed at recording the classification of assets of the existing facility in Class A and Class B assets. Class A assets are all those which are not classified to be class B assets. Class B assets are those which are difficult to examine or inspect prior submission of tender. Regarding Class A assets the Contractor bears the full responsibility while regarding the B classified assets the Employer bears the full responsibility.
An initial Asset Inventory is supposed to be included in the Employer´s Requirements based on which the Contractor shall tender for the contract. If the Contractor identifies errors in the classification, he/she is expected to revise the inventory in order to have the Final Inventory then be determined by the Employers Representative. This procedural approach introduces a level of flexibility and fairness in the straightforward classification of assets.
Sebastian Hök is a TG 11 member and has taken over the role of the lead draftsperson in 2019. The current plan is to launch the Bronze Book in December 2022 as a test edition. Work is going on.