Firm takes legal action over removal from energy-from-waste job after similar issue at Glasgow plant

Interserve has begun legal action against a firm that has thrown it off an energy-from-waste job, Building can reveal.

Interserve – which is looking for a new chief executive to replace the outgoing Adrian Ringrose – has begun legal action on an energy-from-waste job in Kidderminster in Worcestershire against the main contractor, Swiss-based Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI).

HZI removed Interserve from the £165m EnviRecover plant last summer after complaining of delays on the firm’s civil engineering works.

Interserve claims it was wrongly removed from its contract, according to documents filed at the High Court. Interserve’s contract had started in May 2014 when construction on the project began.

According to the documents, HZI accused Interserve of “not proceeding regularly and diligently with the works” but in its claim Interserve accused it of “repudiatory breach of contract” when HZI made its decision in July last year.

Interserve said it had “suffered” a “quantum of loss […] as a result of HZI’s breach” and added: “If necessary, [Interserve] will bring separate Part 7 proceedings [further legal action] in respect of that issue.”

The scheme, which is still under construction and is expected to complete in spring next year, will process 200,000 tonnes of waste and generate 16MW of electricity for the national grid a year once complete.

HZI and Interserve were unavailable for comment.

Last month Interserve was told to leave a separate £150m energy-from-waste power plant in Glasgow after client Viridor said it “repeatedly failed” to meet its delivery milestones.

Viridor said it was making the move to “protect” the project and in a statement added: “With Interserve now reporting a forecasted failure to meet a contracted long-stop construction completion date, Viridor will commence a contractual process to terminate its contract with Interserve.” Interserve responded by saying it would “assess the implications of this development with our legal advisers”.