Friday, September 26, 2008

Kuwait firm sues Jewson over 'defective' pipes

A government pipeline used to funnel aviation fuel to Redcliffe Bay was deemed “defective” after a subcontractor allegedly installed the wrong pipes.

The Kuwait Petroelum International Aviation Company UK (KPIAC) is suing Jewson and Ovalbrick over a mistake that caused an 11-month delay in a project to upgrade pipes near Bristol in 2002.

KPIAC was asked by the defence secretary to carry out design construction and commissioning works for the upgrade of the government pipeline and storage system.

It used Trident Engineering Consultants (TEC) as a project manager, which later accepted a tender from O’Neill and Dixon (OND) for pipework and steelwork, who in turn subcontracted to Ashworth Frazer (AF).
In a writ filed at the Technology and Construction Court, KPIAC claim supplied pipes did not meet correct standards and had surface breaking defects with wall thicknesses that did not comply with specified tolerances.

The firm allege AF failed to warn or advise when it became apparent that the pipes supplied "appeared defective".

The writ notes that as early as January 2003, queries were raised with AF over slivers of metal protruding from the surfaces of the pipes.

From May 2003 several reports were commissioned into the defects, with one investigator finding the pipework was of “insufficient thickness”.

Investigations found the pipes did not need replacing, but because of delays caused by testing the project was finished 47 weeks late.

OND went into liquidation in January 2006 and assigned its rights in the subcontract to KPIAC. TEC also assigned its rights to KPIAC, who is now suing Jewson and Ovalbrick, formerly Saint-Gobain Pipe Systems trading as Ashworth Frazer.

It wants ВЈ1,068,065 for the costs of tests, consultants, enhanced maintenance and delays.