It's all quiet on the £75m Bellozanne upgrade front - there was no one to be found on site yesterday, and the Government is refusing to answer any further questions about the project after its main contractor collapsed.
UK firm NMCN fell into administration on Monday after months of loss warnings, and local contractors – who remain concerned that red flags may have been missed and that they stand to lose more than £200,000 between them – left the sewage treatment works site that day.
In a statement issued after Express broke the news of the subcontractors’ concerns, Infrastructure Minister Deputy Kevin Lewis said that the position of the firm had been "tracked for many months" and said that it was now assessing its legal position.
He added that the Government's "business in this project continues" and that it intended to continue working with local companies.
But, since then, officials have refused to answer any further questions about why there are no longer any contractors on site, and what plans are in place to get work going again, and if and when it will be meeting local contractors to hear and address their concerns.
In a round of urgent questions in the States Assembly yesterday, the Chief Minister had few answers to offer.
He did not appear to be aware that contractors had stopped work on the project, but later suggested that the Government might be able to exercise 'step in' rights to work with existing contractors and enable the project to continue.
Industry news outlet Construction Index reported this week that it understood that the Bellozanne project was one of two "problem contracts" causing issues in NMCN's water arm before its collapse, noting that it was "quite ambitious" for a company of NMCN's size.
Pictured: The empty NMCN site office. (Gary Grimshaw)
Questioned about this, Senator John Le Fondré said he was sure that appropriate "due diligence" would have been undertaken to ensure NMCN could fulfil the contract.
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