Irish builder claims €300m compensation from Polish authority

Poland’s state road operator has been hit with a 1.2bn zloty (€299m) compensation claim by Irish builder SRB Civil Engineering, the latest fallout from a troubled construction spree ahead of the Euro 2012 football tournament.

SRB said it was forced to walk away from a contract to build stretches of a key Polish highway because of failures by roads operator GDDKiA, and wants to be compensated for losses it said it incurred.

However, GDDKiA claims that SRB was at fault and that it had to withdraw from the contract, not the other way round.

SRB was responsible for building 94km of a 5.8bn zloty highway from the northern city of Torun to Strykow in central Poland. It won the contract as part of a consortium with Poland’s PBG, which since June has been in bankruptcy protection.

SRB said it finished a 30km stretch of road ahead of schedule but walked out on the rest, blaming GDDKiA’s administration problems and lack of knowhow. It said it was seeking 190m zloty in penalties and 1bn zloty in damages.

GDDKiA said SRB owed 51 million zloty in overdue payments to sub-contractors. Spokeswoman Urszula Nelken said: “We withdrew from the contract due to the contractor’s fault.

* Reuters

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