Five BTO projects delayed as main contractor goes bust

Five ongoing Build-To-Order (BTO) housing projects will be delayed and two public projects face possible hold-ups as the main contractor for these sites has gone bust.

This will impact more than 2,900 home buyers across these affected BTO projects: Sky Vista @ Bukit Batok, Senja Heights and Senja Ridges in Bukit Panjang and Marsiling Grove in Woodlands.

The fifth one is West Coast Parkview in Clementi, located opposite West Coast Park. This serves as one of the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers) replacement sites for residents in blocks 513 to 520 West Coast Road. There are a total of 2,982 units in the five projects.

The two affected public projects are the Mandai Crematorium and Columbarium under the National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Gali Batu bus depot under the Land Transport Authority.

On Wednesday, the Housing Board informed the affected home buyers that the main contractor, two related companies called Greatearth Corporation and Greatearth Construction, had "run into financial difficulties" and the projects would be further delayed.

HDB did not specify the length of the delay but said home buyers would be kept updated on the situation once new contractors have been appointed and the construction schedules worked out.

Greatearth informed HDB last week that it was unable to complete the five BTO projects under its management, despite the government assistance provided, HDB said in a statement yesterday.

HDB said it had explored possible options to resolve Greatearth's challenges, such as through advance payments, but Greatearth did not have the financial ability to continue operations.

Since Aug 20, all works at the five sites have stopped.

New contractors will be appointed as soon as possible to complete the remaining works, said HDB.

Contingency contractors will be brought in to secure the work sites and carry out housekeeping and mosquito control until new contractors are appointed.

The 230-unit Senja Ridges in Bukit Panjang was earlier slated to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year, while the 552-unit Senja Heights was due to be completed in the first quarter of next year.

The 257-unit Sky Vista @ Bukit Batok was slated to be completed in the third quarter of next year, the 1,246-unit Marsiling Grove in Woodlands in the fourth quarter of next year, and the 697-unit West Coast Parkview in the second quarter of 2023.

The completion dates for these projects had already been pushed back because of manpower and supply disruptions in the construction sector caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"These delays will affect home buyers and disrupt their life plans and they will understandably be disappointed by this latest development," HDB said in its statement.

"HDB will do our utmost to bring the replacement contractor/s on board as soon as possible, to minimise the extent of any delays while ensuring that safety and quality are not compromised."

Greatearth is a home-grown company that has worked on more than 400 projects, including the Raffles Town Club, Mount Elizabeth Hospital and Nanyang Technological University's Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine campuses in Boon Lay and Novena.