MacDow jackup barge being prepared for work on the Adelaide Desalination plant on Thursday the 17 September 2009 at Port Adelaide, South Australia.
Construction work on the new desalination plant has been delayed because of a major legal fight. A Chinese ship carrying a vital piece of equipment has been arrested after its owners refused to hand over the goods. The Asian Atlas should be half way across the Indian Ocean on its way home. It is idle 30km off Port Adelaide and its 23 Russian crew members cannot leave as the ship is under arrest. It carried a huge drilling rig, which will be used to build the underwater pipeline at the new desalination plant. McConnell Dowell is suing the ship's Chinese owner for damages because of alleged delays in moving the rig here from WA. It is seeking nearly $1.5m in lost revenue. Asian Atlas has hit back with its own $1m claim, saying it is the one put out and until today was holding the rig ransom until it was paid. Last Tues AFP raided the vessel and placed it under the arrest. Today it finally made its way into Port Adelaide. The rig will then be towed down the Port River and take three months to set up. Then work on the pipeline can finally get underway.
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