Four large contractors have been sanctioned by the Hong Kong government for "serious poor performance" after a series of construction scandals afflicting the special administrative region’s Shatin to Central Link (SCL) metro scheme.
Leighton Contractors (Asia), Samsung C & T Corporation, Hsin Chong Construction Company and China State Construction Engineering (Hong Kong) have each been suspended from bidding for Hong Kong government contracts for between three months and a year.
The sanction was announced by the Development Bureau on Monday, 8 October.
"Based on the information available, including the contractors’ representations and the relevant circumstances at Hung Hom Station, To Kwa Wan Station and Exhibition Centre Station of the SCL Project, the DEVB has decided to, under the prevailing mechanism, take regulating actions against contractors concerned," the bureau said.
Hardest hit was Leighton Contractors (Asia), a subsidiary of Australia’s Cimic.
In May it emerged that in 2015, workers building the concrete slab at the Hung Hom station expansion reportedly had cut off the ends of reinforcing bars that were supposed to be screwed into couplers in the diaphragm wall forming the side of the metro station box. Concrete was then poured even though the bars were not connected to the couplers.
For the construction issues associated with that station, Leighton Contractors (Asia) was suspended from tendering for a period of 12 months effective from October 8, 2018.
For construction issues associated with To Kwa Wan Station, both of the joint venture participants, Samsung C & T Corporation and Hsin Chong Construction Company Limited, were suspended from tendering for four months.
For construction issues associated with Exhibition Centre Station, both of the joint venture participants, Leighton Contractors (Asia) Limited and China State Construction Engineering (Hong Kong) Limited were suspended from tendering for the works categories of "Buildings (Group C)" and "Roads and Drainage (Group C)" for a period of three months.
For Leighton Contractors (Asia), this suspension will take effect upon expiry of the suspension period relating to Hung Hom Station.
The bureau said the government reserved the right to take further actions over Hung Hom Station.
Image: Shatin to Central Link under construction in Hong Kong, December 2017 (Seaonweb/Dreamstime)