More than $8 billion worth of gas, power, rail and mining projects across Australia, Mongolia and Papua New Guinea (PNG) face delays following the collapse of engineering company Clough on Monday.
The Perth-based energy services contractor has been placed into voluntary administration following the collapse of an acquisition agreement with the Italian group Webuild.
Clough, with a global workforce of 2,500, was placed into voluntary administration by its South African parent, Murray & Roberts Holdings, on Monday.
Deloitte, appointed as administrator, said it would assess Clough’s financial position over the next two to three days and begin an accelerated sale and recapitalisation process, aiming to get projects back on track, reported Reuters.
It said the goal is to source “immediate interim funding to be able to continue work on as many projects as possible as quickly as possible”.
Webuild and Clough are partners on a A$5 billion ($3.4 billion) rail project in Australia’s Queensland state and the A$5 billion expansion of Australia’s biggest hydropower scheme, Snowy 2.0, which is already facing a delay of nearly two years into 2028, noted Reuters.
Clough is also handling construction of the A$768 million ($515 million) Waitsia Stage 2 gas project, owned by a unit of Japan’s Mitsui & Co and Australia’s Beach Energy .
The Waitsia Stage 2 project was due to start producing gas for export through the North West Shelf liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in late 2023. Mitsui said it would work with all its partners to ensure the project proceeds.
“Given that an administrator has only just been appointed for Clough, it would be premature to speculate on the precise impacts for the Waitsia Gas Project Stage 2,” Mitsui E&P Australia said in a statement.
Clough is also the contractor on a key project needed to shore up Australia’s power supply, the 320 megawatt (MW) Tallawarra B gas-fired power station owned by EnergyAustralia, a unit of Hong Kong’s CLP Holdings, added Reuters.