Writ relates to work done by Norwest Holst on the Corus Scunthorpe Steel Plant

Construction company Norwest Holst is embroiled in a row for payments over its work on the Corus Scunthorpe Steel Plant in North Lincolnshire.

Norwest Holst accuses main contractor Danieli Davy Distington of failing to pay more than £329,000 for its work on the £10 million Corus Scorpio project.

The project includes the design, supply, installation, and commissioning of a state of the-art continuous casting machine to produce processed steel, and civil engineering and building works at the steelworks, the largest in the UK.

The extension to the Scunthorpe steelworks involved the digging of a 22-metre deep contiguous piled cofferdam, and basement excavation up to 21 metres deep, spanning 18 metres wide, with no internal propping.

And Tarmac, who supplied concrete to Norwest Holst, says the foundations were the site of the world’s largest ever concrete pour, with some 926m3 concrete laid.

Norwest Holst was engaged to carry out civil engineering and building works as part of the giant scheme and says that after a dispute over payment arose with Danieli Davy Distington, the company tried to bring in an adjudicator to decide the dispute.

But solicitors for Danieli Davy Distington challenged the adjudicator’s jurisdiction, saying that the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1966 did not apply to the contract, according to a High Court writ.

Norwest Holst disputes this, and is asking for a court ruling that the works are construction operations under the act, that the contract is a written construction contract, that adjudication provisions apply, and that the adjudicator has the jurisdiction to decide the dispute.

The question is unlikely to involve a substantial dispute of fact, the writ says.

The writ was issued by Fenwick Elliott.