German construction giant, Bilfinger Berger has told Tunnelling Journal it has not had any commercial connection with Chinese JV company Beijing Chang Cheng Bilfinger Berger Construction Engineering Corp (BCBB) “for a very long time”, after reports emerged two weeks ago that BCBB had been banned from bidding for work in Guangzhou for six months after samples of concrete on the city’s Line 3 Metro were found to be sub-standard.
A spokesman for Bilfinger Berger told Tunnelling Journal, “In order to guard against misunderstandings, I would like to stress that Bilfinger Berger does not have (any) equity or personnel in Beijing Chang Cheng Bilfinger Berger Construction Engineering Co Ltd (BCBB) any more. For legal reasons it is currently not possible to change the company’s name.”
The concrete scandal emerged in the Chinese press two weeks ago after information about the substandard concrete was leaked by a technician who was undertaking compressive strength tests following an enforced review of the quality of the concrete works.
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Yuan E, director of the city’s construction projects quality supervision bureau, was reported as confirming the allegations that the concrete was sub-standard, and said BCBB had deliberately hidden a quality report on the tunnel’s concrete strength.
Guangzhou’s urban and rural construction commission has confirmed to the Chinese Media that doubts had been raised about the safety of part of Line 3’s northern subway extension, but was also keen to stress it was safe to use.
The area affected involves emergency cross passages on Guangzhou Metro Line 3’s northern stretch, although the scandal will not affect Line 3’s scheduled opening date of next month, reports say.
BCBB has been unavailable for comment.