Ger­man gi­ant seeks to wind up Con­way Pil­ing

Irish Independent - Business Week - - FRONT PAGE - John Mul­li­gan

THE man­ag­ing direc­tor of Co Kil­dare-based civil en­gi­neer­ing firm Con­way Pil­ing is hop­ing to re­solve a dis­agree­ment with a Ger­man cred­i­tor which has pe­ti­tioned the High Court to have the com­pany wound up.

Lar Con­way, hopes to have the sit­u­a­tion re­solved as early as this morn­ing, and told the Ir­ish In­de­pen­dent that the pe­ti­tion for the wind­ing up pre­sented by Stuttgart-based Ed Züblin is “not go­ing to hap­pen”. A hear­ing date has been set by the High Court for Oc­to­ber 22.

Ed Züblin is a ma­jor con­struc­tion and civil en­gi­neer­ing group and em­ploys about 14,000 peo­ple. It took in or­ders of close to €5bn in 2016.

Mr Con­way de­clined to say why the Ger­man com­pany had pre­sented the pe­ti­tion. How­ever, he said that it was not re­lated to any dif­fi­cul­ties that may have arisen from the col­lapse of UK con­struc­tion gi­ant Car­il­lion.

Con­way Pil­ing has been in­volved in school con­struc­tion projects in Ire­land for which Ir­ish firm Sam­mon Con­tract­ing was hired by a con­sor­tium in­clud­ing Car­il­lion to build the schemes.

Sam­mon Con­tract­ing went into ex­am­in­er­ship ear­lier this year as a re­sult of Car­il­lion’s im­plo­sion and was sub­se­quently liq­ui­dated in July with the loss of 200 jobs.

Con­struc­tion of six schools in Ire­land that were al­most com­plete ground to a halt ear­lier this year as Car­il­lion failed and Sam­mon got into dif­fi­cul­ties.

Last July, Ger Con­way of Con­way Pil­ing was among those who mounted a protest at the en­trance to the un­der-con­struc­tion Loreto Sec­ondary School in Wex­ford town af­ter hun­dreds of sub-con­trac­tors work­ing on the schools projects in Ire­land were left out of pocket.

In­spired Spa­ces, a joint ven­ture that in­cluded Car­il­lion, was hired un­der a pub­lic pri­vate part­ner­ship between the State and the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment Fi­nance Agency. The joint ven­ture also in­cluded Dutch In­fra­struc­ture Fund.

Prior to its liq­ui­da­tion, Sam­mon hoped that the Dutch In­fra­struc­ture Fund would award it and builder BAM a con­tract to fin­ish the school con­struc­tion projects.

But it wasn’t cer­tain such a con­tract would be awarded, prompt­ing the liq­ui­da­tion of Sam­mon.

The con­tract to com­plete the schools was sub­se­quently awarded to North­ern Ire­land’s Woodvale Con­struc­tion.

The Loreto school in Wex­ford was sub­se­quently com­pleted and re­ceived cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, and opened to stu­dents last month. Other schools un­der the PPP bun­dle also re­ceived cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

Lar Con­way told the Press As­so­ci­a­tion in July that his com­pany was owed €40,000 af­ter com­plet­ing work on schools in Wex­ford and Bray, Co Wick­low, and that the loss of earn­ings would have a detri­men­tal im­pact on his firm.

“We are try­ing to get an­swers in re­la­tion to re­ten­tion money and an out­stand­ing in­voice for ex­tra work that was done in Novem­ber,” he said at the time “We haven’t been paid for that, de­spite be­ing promised we would.”

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