Monadelphous has announced a $200 million counterclaim against the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal (WICET).
The WICET claim against JV contractor MMM, which includes Monadelphous and Malaysian group Muhibbah Construction, is worth $130 million.
In June last year the Australian Building & Construction Dispute Resolution Service ruled in that the MMM joint venture was owed $65.6 million from WICET after submitting $107 million in claims, relating to contractual variations including wharf plans, lashing concrete for shipping, marine spotters and bad weather.
Monadelphous has said it will vigorously defend itself in the Queensland Supreme Court proceedings, to recover costs associated with changes to the works, as well as $19.46 million worth of bank guarantees drawn down by WICET before legal action was launched.
Monadelphous managing director Rob Velletri said he was confident the company had met its requirements with the customer.
“Despite our best efforts to resolve all outstanding issues with WICET, and considering that we have previously received successful adjudication from BCIPA in respect to many of these issues, we believe WICET’s actions in filing such a claim are unwarranted,” Velletri said.
“This is an unusual and non-preferred situation for Monadelphous given our traditional partnership approach with these clients, but we are confident of our position and we will stand our ground, supported by a strong balance sheet.”
Construction of WICET began in September 2011, however falling coal prices have stressed the owners of the facility, which include Cockatoo Coal (trading halt since November) and Bandanna Energy, which went into administration in September.
WICET was expected to begin shipping coal by November 2014.