WICET loses court challenge over $22million

WIGGINS Island Coal Export Terminal has lost one of its court stoushes against Monadelphous Engineering and Malaysia's Muhibbah Construction.

WICET challenged an adjudicator's order to pay $22 million to Monadelphous and Muhibbah Construction's joint venture MMM.

They argued in the Brisbane Supreme Court that the adjudicator had no power because MMM's claim was for work outside Queensland - the construction of a shiploader and tripper  in Malaysia.

The two pieces of equipment would work together on the terminal's wharf to deliver coal into the hatches of ships docked there.

But the adjudicator found the shiploader and tripper would form part of the wharf's structure and was therefore goods supplied for construction work.

WICET's argument clashed with what was said about this contract last year in the Court of Appeal in a case Monadelphous brought against WICET.

It was determined the shiploader was part of the wharf.

WICET's other argument in this case was that the adjudicator failed to consider its evidence and submissions, including an expert's report.

But Justice Philip McMurdo did not accept either argument and dismissed WICET's application.

After the judgment was handed down WICET chief Marcus McAuliffe said the adjudication process meant WICET had very limited timeframes to provide its response.

"WICET will continue to pursue its restitutionary claim commenced in the Supreme Court in June this year and maintains that this is the appropriate forum for a robust and fact-based resolution of the disputes between WICET and MMM," he said.

Monadelphous has launched a $200 million counterclaim against WICET.