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Laing O'Rourke pulls 800 workers in payment row

Gas holder

Laing O’Rourke has removed 800 construction workers from an Australian gas project, claiming Japanese firm Kawasaki Heavy Industries had failed to pay it.

Both companies have been constructing four cryogenic tanks for the £21bn Ichthys LNG Tanks project in Darwin, since mid-2013.

Work was nearly complete, but Laing O’Rouke claims it has not been paid by KHI – which was leading this phase of the project – for several months.

“KHI, which leads this phase, has not paid Laing O’Rourke for its work on this complex and resource-intensive remote engineering project for several months,” said a company statement.

“Laing O’Rourke has made significant efforts to resolve the matter, but direct approaches to KHI in Japan over recent weeks have failed to produce a satisfactory outcome.”

Laing O’Rourke stressed its other Australian projects are unaffected by the dispute, and that its priority will be to redeploy its staff elsewhere.

Laing O’Rourke’s infrastructure and civil engineering division reported a £5.1M pretax loss last year.

New Civil Engineer has contacted KHI for comment.

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