Aussie-based company wins major Sydney project after China sale blocked

‘The Ribbon’ development is located at Darling Harbour in Sydney. Picture: Getty
‘The Ribbon’ development is located at Darling Harbour in Sydney. Picture: Getty

Probuild, the construction company caught in the crossfire of a political tussle, has been awarded a new contract to take over the development of one of Sydney’s major construction sites.

The Australian-based but South African-listed Probuild is about to begin work on the partially completed 25-level ‘The Ribbon’ hotel development in Darling Harbour, taking over from collapsed developer Grocon, which sold construction rights to Chinese-based owner Greaton last February.

The announcement comes after China’s largest construction company, China State Construction ­Engineering Corp, pulled its $300m bid for Probuild after the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg indicated the acquisition would be turned down on national interest grounds.

News of the decision sparked an angry reaction from the Chinese embassy, which said that “if the reports proved true, this is the latest case that Chinese investment is discriminately targeted”.

Completion of the 143-suite, five-star W Hotels building is still expected by the second quarter of next year.

Greaton said it was committed to working with the project’s neighbours, including Darling Square, Darling Quarter, Cockle Bay Wharf, Harbourside Shopping Centre and the ICC Sydney to increase the appeal of the Darling Harbour precinct.

Probuild executive chairman Simon Gray was not available for comment early Wednesday.

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