Thu, Feb 08, 2001 - Page 17 News List

Another plant contractor gives up

NUCLEAR POWER Exercising the right to annul its agreement with Taipower if work is halted for more than three months, Li Hua Construction called it quits

By Richard Dobson  /  STAFF REPORTER

Yet another contractor building the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant (核四) has called it quits over the lengthy delay, bringing the total number of construction companies to have bailed on the project to four.

Li Hua Construction (利華公司) joined the growing list of contractors fed up over the stoppage of work at the site and the political wrangling that has dragged the delay into its fourth month.

Taiwan Power Co executives said they will continue trying to persuade the contractors to stay on board as a return-to-work decision could only be days away.

All 17 of the major domestic contractors have the right to annul their agreements with Taipower and seek compensation for losses incurred during the delay if work is halted for more than three months.

Li Hua's contract, which is worth NT$300 million, is for the construction of a water storage pond. Other companies that have bailed out are Ta Tung Construction (大棟), Yung Ching Co (永慶) and Chang yi Construction (昶誼).

But besides Ta Tung -- which is building the receiving dock for the two 1,350-megawatt nuclear reactors and the water intake pipeline -- none of the other three companies were contracted to buid vital elements of the plant, Taipower said.

Therefore, the work of other contractors shouldn't be seriously affected by the pullouts if the government orders construction to resume, Taipower said.

However, resumption of construction could be delayed by up to a year while new contractors are sought to replace those that bail out, Taipower said.

The two major contractors -- New Asia Construction and Development Corp (新亞建設), which is building the structures that will house the reactors and turbines and engineering and equipment supplier CTCI Corp (中鼎工程) -- have yet to indicated that they will seek to annul their contracts, Taipower said.

The power company says that the work stoppage has made it impossible to meet the timetable for the plant's completion in 2005.

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