APA Group's Darling Downs Solar Farm, as seen from the air.
APA Group's Darling Downs Solar Farm, as seen from the air. APA Grou

Massive solar farm builder in voluntary administration

THE embattled construction firm behind one of the region's largest solar farms has gone into voluntary administration.

RCR Tomlinson, the engineering company building the Darling Downs Solar Farm for APA Group, made the announcement to the Australian Stock Exchange yesterday.

The company has appointed McGrathNicol as administrators, and follows it entering a trading halt last week.

"Further to the company's trading halt and announcement on 12 November 2018, the company has not been able to secure additional funding," the announcement read.

"As a result, the boards of the group companies met and resolved to appoint administrators.

"The administrators will make further announcements to the market and will be in communication separately with creditors and other stakeholders."

RCR Tomlinson was awarded a design, and engineering, procurement and construction, contract to build the 110 megawatt capacity Darling Downs Solar Farm for APA Group in May 2017.

The company's scope of work on the Dalby project included the engineering, procurement and construction as well as commissioning of the solar farm.

The contract for the 200 hectare farm was worth about $175 million.

It is one of a range of projects listed on the company's website, and the latest to be hit with union concerns over the future of jobs.

The Electrical Trades Union QLD NT branch earlier this month said it had concerns about jobs at the company's five Queensland projects after the trading halt was announced to the ASX.

It followed reports in May this year of concerns about backpackers performing unlicensed electrical works on the Darling Downs Solar Farm project.

Administrators Jason Preston, Jamie Harris, Matthew Caddy and Rob Brauer, for McGrathNicol, are undertaking an assessment of RCR Tomlinson and its subsidiaries, and are "urgently seeking funding from the RCR Group's financiers".

"The administrators will work closely with RCR's employees, suppliers and customers to quickly stabilise operations and to determine the appropriate strategy for the business," McGrathNicol said in an ASX announcement.

"A sale process will be commenced immediately.

"RCR suppliers are asked to ensure that they supply only in accordance with the circular to suppliers, available on the McGrathNicol and RCR websites."

The first statutory meeting of creditors is expected to be held on December 3.



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