Published: Sunday 31 March 1996

Chinese authorities and a dredging contractor are involved in a mud-slinging match. The government stopped the contractor, Gitanes Engineering, from dumping nearly 250,000 cu m of sludge in Chinese waters. The dispute over contaminated mud has reached the High Court with the contractor issuing a writ claiming US $18.76 million damages. The row started in July when Gitanes applied to the environmental protection department for a mudloading permit, which was cleared only 64 days after it was lodged. The delay cost the company more than US $25 million in compensation, labour and shipping costs.

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