Sunday 5th Jul, 2020

Monadelphous and WICET settle $330m port-building dispute

Nathan Tinkler says Australia is still in a good position in the coal sector, relative to its competition. Photo: WICET
Photo: WICET

According to a July 27 release, engineer Monadelphous has now settled a major port-design and construction stoush with the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal (WICET).

Engineering company Monadelphous announced that “MMM”, an unincorporated joint venture in which one of its subsidiaries holds a 50% interest, has reached agreement with the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal.

That deal resolves all claims relating to contracts performed on the WICET project at Gladstone, Queensland.

According to the engineering company, the agreement is subject to third party approvals and are also confidential.

MMM had entered into two contracts with WICET for construction of the approach jetty, ship berth and shiploader at Wiggins Island.

In June last year, Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal opened a $130m lawsuit for general damages, interest and costs, in the Queensland courts against MMM (an unincorporated 50/50 joint venture between Monadelphous and Malaysia’s Muhibbah Construction) for recovery of monies paid.

However, Monadelphous itself promptly slapped a $200m counter-claim on WICET to recover costs incurred over changes in the scope and nature of the works to be completed and the value of bank guarantees drawn down.

In a series of confusing statements and counter statements, each of the companies accused the other of failing to live up to its obligations.

WICET is a 27m tonnes per annum, $2.6bn, coal-export facility, developed by a consortium of eight exporters, situated on the Calliope River at the port of Gladstone, to the west of and opposite the RG Tanna Coal Terminal.

It will have a rail receival facility of 7600 tonnes per hour, a 1.9m tonne stockyard, a single berth with a travelling shiploader to fill vessels at 8250 tonnes per hour and the capability to receive vessels ranging in size from 40,000 dwt to 220,000 dwt.

WICET exported its first shipment of coal, at 73,000 tonnes, onto a panamax vessel on April 30 last year.

This article originally appeared on ABHR affiliate site Lloyd’s List Australia.