HDB BTOs affected by Greatearth bust find new contractors; projects to face further delays

SINGAPORE – Four contractors have taken over the job of finishing five Build-To-Order (BTO) housing projects that their former main contractors Greatearth Construction and Greatearth Corporation could not complete due to their liabilities.

The projects will be further delayed by about two to three months. This means the almost 3,000 buyers of the five affected projects – Sky Vista  @  Bukit Batok, Senja Heights and Senja Ridges in Bukit Panjang, Marsiling Grove in Woodlands and West Coast Parkview in Clementi – can now expect to get their keys between the first quarter of 2022 and the third quarter of 2023.

The four contractors are Teambuild Engineering and Construction, Newcon Builders, Welltech Construction, and CES Engineering Construction.

They were appointed on Tuesday (Sept 28) and construction works at all five sites will progressively resume from early next month.

Work at the five projects had ground to a halt on Aug 20 after Greatearth told the Housing Board that it was unable to complete the projects despite government assistance given. Two public projects could be held up as well. Several subcontractors are now staring at sizeable losses on unpaid fees by Greatearth.

HDB said on Wednesday afternoon that over the past month, it has been working closely with Greatearth and their liquidators from PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services (PwC) to bring on board new contractors as quickly as possible to complete the remaining works and reduce the impact on home buyers.

To speed up the process, HDB had assisted in sourcing for several suitable contractors to take over the projects and worked with Greatearth and PwC to facilitate the transfer.

This has enabled HDB to bring on board the new contractors within about a month, compared with the three to four months it would typically take to call a fresh tender for new contractors to take over the balance of works, it said.

This way, the extent of delays for flat buyers has been minimised, HDB said.

But the five projects will still be delayed by another two to three months due to the time needed to bring in the replacement contractors, and for them to mobilise their resources to take over and finish the projects, it said.

Greatearth Construction owed at least $70 million to several hundred creditors at the time it was wound up on Monday due to its inability to continue doing business due to its liabilities.

But the $70 million debt that figure does not include anticipated liabilities from projects that could not be completed by Greatearth, which include two public projects, as well as the five BTO projects comprising a total of 2,982 units, The Straits Times understands.

Greatearth Corporation was also wound up on Monday, while Greatearth Holding, Greatearth Private Ltd, and Universal EC Investments were wound up on Tuesday.

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