A construction company in the US is currently making a $500,000 profit from the building of an artificial lake in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, after being told to design it in a different way.
The project, called Project Awe, has been approved by the state of Hawaii, which is the US territory that encompasses the islands that make up the US.
But the brother-and-sister company behind the project, Construction Associates of America, has reportedly been denied approval for $50 million (£34m) in federal contracts that have been awarded to other firms.
The company says the project is in the “midst of construction” and “should be completed as soon as possible”.
“As the project was approved by Hawaii, the State Department has provided the company with a written notice of a ‘preapproval’ for the contract,” the company said in a statement.
“The contract has not yet been submitted to the Department for final approval, but we anticipate the completion date to be in early 2018.”
The state of California awarded another $1.2bn in contracts to Construction Associates last year, and it was revealed in September that the state’s governor was lobbying for the same contracts.
Awe has also received a federal contract worth $2.6bn from the US military, and the firm says that it is working on “new technologies and materials” to build the artificial lake.
“Our goal is to build an artificial island that is both natural and artificial, but with the same physical characteristics,” it said in its statement.
“The design of the artificial island is subject to final approval by the Federal Government.”
The construction company’s spokesman said it was unclear whether the project would go ahead.
“It’s not clear if we will get a contract in time for us to build,” spokesman James Miller told CNN.
“We will keep you posted on any developments.”