Miner sued by contractor, forced to pay $500k

Gujarat NRE has been ordered to pay more than half a million dollars to a contractor after failing to pay a bill

On Monday, the NSW Supreme Court ordered the Illawarra based coal mine operator to pay Ampcontrol $562,390.91 plus court costs.

The dispute occurred after the engineering and manufacturing company was hired to supply more than $5 million worth of high-voltage power supply equipment at Gujarat’s Wongawilli mine.

According to the judgement, Ampcontrol submitted an invoice for more than $1.4 million on December 20 for the supply of eight switchboards and 10 electrical units, The Illawarra Mercury reported.

Gujarat failed to provide a payment schedule within the time allowed by the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act.

Gujarat made some payments, but left more than half a million dollars outstanding.

Ampcontrol filed a motion with the Supreme Court to recover the money.

However Gujarat argued Ampcontrol’s invoice did not meet the requiremtns of the act.

Gujarat's lawyer said the progress payment sought did not match any of the stages in the payment schedule the companied agreed to.

Gujarat’s head of corporate relations Dr Chris Harvey explained the company held an ‘‘in-principle view that the invoice provided by [Ampcontrol] did not constitute a formal payment claim as it did not comply with the requirements of the contract it held with [Ampcontrol]’’.

‘‘[Gujarat] contended that substantial compliance with the contract was a threshold issue for the application of the act,’’ Harvey said.

However, Justice David Hammerschlag rejected the argument, saying Gujarat’s submissions could not be accepted.

The court found Ampcontrol’s payment was validly claimed

An Ampcontrol spokesman said the company was hopeful the matter would be resolved quickly.

Harvey said Gujarat NRE was confident of continuing ‘‘strong and robust working arrangements’’ with Ampcontrol now the commercial dispute had been resolved.

Image: illawarramercury.com.au

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