Firm's contract with Bord Gais 'cancelled on day it went to court over bill'
A Tipperary-based company has claimed a division of Bord Gais cancelled its contracts without reason on the same day it went to court to be paid by the semi-state.
MP Ryan, which provided electrical instrumentation and anti-corrosion services to Bord Gais, closed its doors earlier this year.
The company claims it had to cease trading because it had not been paid for work it had done for Bord Gais Networks (BGN).
According to MP Ryan, it took High Court action against BGN in June to force payment of a €65,000 debt. BGN eventually paid that amount just before the court case, leaving MP Ryan with legal costs of €10,000.
On June 21, Ryan issued a High Court summons to BGN for the payment. Later the same day, BGN apparently cancelled all further orders it had with Ryan, worth about €130,000. BGN paid the €65,000 debt on June 27 and offered to enter into mediation with Ryan.
"No reason for the cancellation of contracts was provided by Bord Gais Networks to MP Ryan," said the company.
Despite the timing, industry sources believe this was a coincidence rather than an act of "tit for tat" by BGN.
BGN had just agreed to transfer most of its contracts to the engineering firm Balfour Beatty, instead of using numerous small companies. Most of those firms had their contracts with BGN cancelled but were retained as sub-contractors to Balfour Beatty.
BGN said it had "engaged fully with MP Ryan Ltd on a number of tender and contractual issues and remains committed to resolving their two outstanding claims".
BGN and MP Ryan remain in dispute over other fees that allegedly have not yet been paid.
Meanwhile, the Commission for Energy Regulation yesterday approved the connection of Wexford town to the Bord Gais natural gas network.
The deal is subject to BGN securing contracts for gas usage from a number of large energy users in the town.
BGN plans to build a pipeline to the town over the next 18 months. It is expected that gas will be available in the town before the end of 2014.