News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Strikes threaten resources port; Rio Tinto hits another snag in Mongolia; and UGL joint venture faces damages claim.

Lou Caruana

Strikes threaten resources port

Australia’s busiest mineral export port could shut down next week as tug mechanics step up their fight for better pay and conditions, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The union representing the mechanics, known as engineers, the Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers (AIMPE), told tug operator Teekay Shipping that its members plan to strike on Wednesday.

On Western Australia’s north coast, the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) is threatening to strike at marine services contractor Farstad. That could hit Chevron’s $29 billion Wheatstone liquefied natural gas project.

Rio Tinto hits another snag in Mongolia

Rio Tinto has hit another setback in the long-running saga plaguing its massive Oyu Tolgoi copper project in Mongolia, with the shock ousting of the country’s prime minister set to blow out any resolution on a much-delayed funding deal, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Mongolia’s dumped prime minister, Norovyn Altankhuyag, said last week that he hoped to strike a deal for the troubled $US4.2 billion ($5 billion) expansion of the $US7.4 billion project before Christmas.

UGL joint venture faces damages claim

A UGL joint venture faces a potential damages claim over cost blowouts and delays on a $550 million power plant contract at the Ichthys LNG project, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

UGL’s American joint venture partner CH2M Hill warned three months ago “liquidated damages” could be brought as the plant ran behind schedule.

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