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Steel & Tube in talks with 'multiple agencies' over Huntly Bypass pile casings

Wednesday 1st June 2016

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Steel & Tube Holdings is in talks with "multiple agencies" in New Zealand and China over pile casings used in the Huntly bypass bridges that weren't up to scratch. 

The Petone-based company supplied imported steel used by Fulton Hogan and HEB Construction which was found to be too weak for four bridges on the bypass after being cleared by earlier inspections. The company today said after the discovery of issues with the casings it has worked with Fulton Hogan and HEB to find a "safe engineering solution" and had incorporated the impact in downgraded earnings guidance last month. 

"We acknowledge that the pile casings do not meet the joint venture's specifications and we are in discussion with multiple agencies in New Zealand and China," chief executive Dave Taylor said. "Given those discussions, we are not in a position to comment any further at this stage." 

Steel & Tube is among several companies being investigated by the Commerce Commission over the sale of seismic steel mesh. 

The company today said it doesn't typically stock the pile casings used for the Huntly bypass and sourced them specifically for the project. 

Taylor said several options were put to the Fulton Hogan/HEB joint venture which they ultimately selected. 

Radio New Zealand broke the story today, reporting that the contractors chose a very low bid for the steel tubes and that the fault wasn't discovered until a third round of tests. 

Steel & Tube shares fell 1 percent to $1.94 and have dropped 13 percent this year.

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