Laing O’Rourke ordered to hand back Roy Hill construction material

The Supreme Court ordered Laing O’Rourke to hand back construction material for the Roy Hill mine project after its contract was cancelled due to a commercial dispute.

More than 200 workers were made redundant last month when Laing O’Rourke and head contractor at the Roy Hill mine Samsung C&T decided to terminate a $215 million contract.

Laing O'Rourke had been in charge of the construction of structural steel and associated mechanical, piping, electrical and instrumentation works for the massive mine.

The contract also incorporated building the ore stockyard facilities to support the intermodal and export operations, comprising car dumpers, interconnection conveyors and transfer stations.

Roy Hill chief executive Barry Fitzgerald accused Laing O'Rourke of removing materials and equipment in breach of its contract and the termination agreement.

"Laing O'Rourke's motive for their actions has been questioned," Fitzgerald said.

"This win allows Samsung and its subcontractors to continue with construction works and maintain the schedule for delivery of this important project."

A spokesman for Laing O'Rourke denied the contractor took construction material from the site.

"Laing O'Rourke took delivery of materials at the direction of the court last week, with the judge ruling they be stored in a secure compound whilst Samsung's 'emergency relief' application was heard," he said.

“Following the decision, Laing O'Rourke has since issued the items, with the court recommending the matters be referred for further commercial proceedings.

“Laing O'Rourke continues to work with Samsung since their decision to cancel the contract last month, seeking to address a range of operational and commercial close-out issues relating to the Package 3 contract.

 “We would anticipate all these matters to be resolved over coming months.”

According to the judgement, Laing O’Rourke claims it is owed about $39 million from Samsung, however the head contractor argues the sum is closer to $17 million.

Samsung has since handed Laing O’Rourke’s terminated contract to Queensland company Goodline.

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