Laing O’Rourke has stood down more than 800 workers from 46 billion Ichthys liquefied natural gas (LNG) project over a pay dispute.
The project is near Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory.
In 2012, Laing O’Rourke was contracted by Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) of Japan to construct four cryogenic tanks.
However, Laing O’Rourke said it had not been paid for “several months” by KHI.
“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 said in a statement.
“After the most recent meeting in Tokyo last Thursday, Laing O’Rourke notified the parties that it would take action to protect itself from the consequences of KHI’s conduct, unless urgent measures to rectify the situation occurred. KHI has declined to take those necessary steps.”
Laing O’Rourke is now working to redeploy its staff onto its other projects.
The Ichthys project will take natural gas off the coast of Western Australia and pipe it 900km underwater to a processing plant in Darwin Harbour.
The head contractor for the project is JKC Australia LNG.
“JKC is not in dispute with the Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Laing O’Rourke Consortium, and the subcontract for this scope of work remains in place,” JKC’s statement said.
“The engineering, procurement and construction of the cryogenic tanks is approximately 91 per cent complete, and JKC remains committed to delivering this scope of work and the overall Ichthys Project Onshore LNG Facilities.”