28 Jul 2016

Fiji airport revamp delayed by bad steel

7:13 pm on 28 July 2016

It has been revealed the $70 million upgrade of Fiji's international airport, which is being done by a New Zealand contractor, went months behind schedule because of bad steel.

Nadi International Airport, Fiji

Nadi International Airport, Fiji Photo: RNZI/Sally Round

Hawkins Infrastructure ordered steel from China to frame the 7m high new terminal ceiling, but random third party testing at the factory exposed it as substandard.

Airports Fiji chair Faiz Khan said the order was cancelled and replacement steel was sourced from another supplier.

That caused an eight-month delay and the new airport in Nadi is only being opened in stages now - instead of last year.

Hawkins Infrastructure would not talk to RNZ News but told Mr Khan that Chinese steel had become a political issue with accusations of dumping by Chinese suppliers.

The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment said last month it had no "evidence of specific examples of problems" with steel.

RNZ News has since confirmed that Lyttelton Port had to replace substandard steel piles and that the crucial steel strand for the Waterview Connection in Auckland came from a small, uncertified Chinese factory.

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