BrisConnections (BCS) announced it has extended the date for Tollroad and Tolling System Completion. On 4 May 2012, BrisConnections’ design and construction contractor, a joint venture comprising Thiess Pty Ltd and John Holland Pty Ltd (“TJH”), advised BrisConnections that it anticipated Tollroad and Tolling System Completion on or around 20 August 2012, later than the original contracted date of 30 June 2012. Subsequently, on 22 June 2012, TJH advised BrisConnections that it now reasonably expects Tollroad and Tolling System Completion on 27 July 2012.
In consideration of, inter alia, TJH withdrawing force majeure and delay claims made by it under the D&C Contract, BrisConnections has extended the date for Tollroad and Tolling System Completion to up to 20 August 2012 in consideration of TJH paying $973,973 per day from 1 July 2012 to date of completion (inclusive) payable in instalments of $6.2 million on 2 July 2012, $4.0 million on 30 July 2012 and the balance on 24 September 2012. The payment of the moneys is secured by a security bond issued to BrisConnections and its senior lenders’ agent. No early completion payment is to be paid to TJH if completion occurs prior to 20 August 2012.
The extension and payment regime provides numerous benefits including certainty of funding for BrisConnections, allowing the innovative opening toll structure to proceed, and the removal of potential legal actions and associated costs. It ensures no diversion of management attention during the running or defending of any legal action while continuing focus on the commencement of operations of AirportlinkM7 can be maintained. The removal of potential claims by TJH and maintaining the strong working relationship with all stakeholders including TJH should enable a smoother completion and start‐up process.
While BrisConnections has the benefit of rights of set off, substantial performance bonding and a Leighton Holdings Limited guarantee in addition to TJH’s contractual obligations to pay liquidated damages and time deductible payments, BrisConnections considers that there is great benefit and it is in BrisConnections’ best interests in the orderly payment by TJH for the period by which Tollroad and Tolling System Completion is delayed and for the claims process to be concluded.
Mr Trevor Rowe AO DUniv, Chairman of BrisConnections said “I am pleased that a resolution of various claims has been reached, still keeping BrisConnections financially whole, while allowing all involved to focus on opening of AirportlinkM7 which will revolutionise the way Brisbane motorists travel – connecting the city with the airport and places all around.”