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Thu 21 Feb 2008 01:33 PM

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Work starting to pile up

Piling and foundation contractors in the UAE have said they have had to turn down a lot of jobs due to too much work in the market and other factors including financial risks and unworkable contracts.

Piling and foundation contractors in the UAE have said they have had to turn down a lot of jobs due to too much work in the market and other factors including financial risks and unworkable contracts.

Due to the forces of demand and supply at work in the region, contractors have said they are unable to keep up with the amount of work they are being offered.

Shad Khan, general manager of ground engineering company Keller Grundbau, told Construction Week that even though the company is trying hard to keep up with all the work in the market it has had to turn down a few jobs.

"We are a really old company here and we have very old and established clients who we've been working with for ages so we try and make time for them but it's not always possible," said Khan.

"Especially when it comes to piling we have had to send out a lot of regrets. We have about 60 to 70 jobs a year, which is a massive amount of work. We don't only stick to the big jobs because sometimes an old and trusted client wants us for a smaller job so we can't say no to them and we take it on. But we are reaching a critical point where we will soon have to start saying no to more work.

Some companies, however, don't take on more jobs and have a higher rate of regrets than others. Dutco Balfour Beatty's piling and ground works department, for example, has to turn down almost one third of job requests that come in.

Derek King, divisional manager, Dutco Balfour Beatty's piling and ground engineering division said: "In terms of value, we're turning down about a third of the enquiries at the moment. We select the work we do on the basis of the client; sometimes the engineer.

The type of work obviously depends on the conditions of the contract. And then there are times when you have two potential opportunities, but you have to select one of the two based on resources," added King.

"We don't just turn down work because we're over busy, there are other factors involved, such as financial risk. The other reasons are principally resource driven. Some documents we receive are poorly put together. Some projects are also technically and commercially risky, and in this market we don't need to take on such risks.

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