NBN partner Service Stream extends trading halt

Syntheo is a 50/50 joint venture with Lend Lease and Service Stream and was responsible for construction of the NBN in WA and SA

NBN Co construction partner Service Stream has extended its trading halt until Monday next week pending an announcement in relation to Syntheo.

Syntheo is a 50/50 joint venture with Lend Lease and Service Stream and was responsible for construction of the National Broadband Network in Western Australia and South Australia.

Service Stream said the trading halt was required to “clarify a number of issues” in its fixed communications division which may impact on its financial guidance to the market for the FY2013.

“In particular, the company needs to examine the impact on its result of the performance of the Syntheo joint venture,” the company said in an ASX statement.

The company has requested the trading halt be implemented until Monday to assess “outputs” from the Syntheo joint venture.

Service Stream lodged an initial trading halt on Tuesday.

Syntheo has been a key construction partner with NBN Co for the rollout of the fibre network in several states, but it has struggled to meet its construction targets.

In mid-February this year NBN Co downgraded its June 2013 target for the number of premises passed due to construction delays from the joint venture.

Syntheo was responsible for passing 48,620 premises in SA, WA and the NT by June 2013 – 17 per cent of the 286,000 target for June, with the June target now revised to as few as 190,000.

Communications minister Stephen Conroy recently told Computerworld Australia NBN Co made the decision to downgrade premises passed targets for June despite construction partners “arguing they could still meet their targets”.

Syntheo has now handed back work in the NT to NBN Co, with the company expecting to face a cost of around $3 million associated with its exit.

While the company was due to front a parliamentary hearing about its involvement in the construction delays for the NBN, it failed to show and instead sent a Lend Lease representative who was unable to answer questions regarding Syntheo's role in the delays.

The Australian Financial Review reported the joint venture is on the “brink” of pulling out of its involvement in the NBN.

Follow Stephanie McDonald on Twitter: @stephmcdonald0

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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Tags National Broadband Network (NBN)Service StreamLend LeaseSyntheo

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