NMP-linked company with multi-million dollars PUB contract leaves sub-contractors high and dry

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Edwin Khew (SEAS Chairman) with Minister Iswaran
 

The PUB awarded a multi-million dollars project to Anaergia Pte Ltd (APL). APL was part of Anaergia Inc (AI), which is headquartered in Canada, and was set-up with $100 in paid up capital. APL was sold to a third-party in Dec 2015, and AI set-up another subsidiary Anaergia Singapore Pte Ltd. Before it was sold however, APL had not fully paid its sub-contractors for the PUB project, and they are crying foul.

The PUB project was an endeavour to build Singapore’s first co-digestion plant at PUB’s Ulu Pandan Water Reclamation Plan. The ambitious project would have converted food waste and used water to generate electricity. The project was to have been completed last September but is now about 60 percent done, and slated for completion by year end, said the PUB.

The sub-contractors had approached PUB to help them settle their payment dispute with APL, but PUB has asked them to seek legal redress instead. “PUB has no contracts with these sub-contractors,” its spokesperson said.

PUB said however said that it is committed to complete co-digestion plant and that it has been in close contact with AI, which owns the technology to be used for the co-digestion plant.

“Anaergia Inc sees the importance of this project, and has therefore resolved to dedicate its Singapore subsidiary, Anaergia Singapore Pte Ltd, to complete the project,” said PUB.

“PUB and Anaergia Singapore Pte Ltd will continue to work closely to complete the project,” it added.

When asked why it was continuing to work with AI when its former affiliate had payment disputes with its sub-contractors, PUB said the AI’s new subsidiary, ASPL will not include anyone it previously worked with from APL.

Edwin Khew with Teo Ser Luck
Edwin Khew with Teo Ser Luck

According to TODAY newspaper, the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) records showed that both APL and APSL shared at least one director in common – former Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) and chairman of Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore, Edwin Khew.

The ex-NMP told the newspaper that he was involved only in marketing and project development, and not the actual project.

Luca Belli, the managing director of APSL said that APL was no longer a part of AI and that it bears no relation to the Canada-based company. He said the sub-contractors, Structura Construction and Brilliant Engineering, had to contact APL directly regarding their outstanding payment.

Commenting on TODAY’s report of the payment dispute, Philip Sheng the project director of Brilliant Engineering said:

“PUB gives a few million project to a S$100 capital foreign company APL. APL received 3.5 million from PUB and paid 1 million down payment to vendors and contractor, after project completed about 60%, APL declared no money to pay.

“The director, Edwin, former Nomination Member of Parliament, quit from APL and use his another call ASPL and team to deal with PUB for balanced works. All vendors and sub contractors are abandoned by PUB and APL.”

The sub-contractors had contracts worth about $2.4 million in total with APL. They had completed 90 percent of construction work and 70 percent of mechanical and electrical work, but have only been paid about $638,000 in total.

PUB has already paid $3.3 million to APL for work completed, but APL owes $960,000 and $300,000 to Structura Construction and Brilliant Engineering respectively.

Mr Sheng who questioned what APL has done with the money paid by PUB said his efforts to engage APL in recent months have hit a dead end, as he is told that all its employees had left and that they had nothing more to do with the company.