An Meá lines up for Russian deal

LEEDERVILLE-BASED firm An Meá has secured a contract for work on the Sakhalin II Project, considered to be the largest liquefied natural gas project, and the greatest single infrastructure project in the world.

The contract, worth more than $2 million, is for the provision of environ-mental, health and safety management services for the project, located off the north-east coast of Russia. The project’s total capital expenditure is expected to be around $US100 billion.

The Australian Trade Commission is hoping other Australian firms will tender for contracts on the project.

Austrade is touring the country this month to outline the opportunities the project presents for local firms. A trade mission to Sakhalin Island has been arranged for June.

Exxon-Mobile, Royal Dutch Shell Group, Mitsui and Mitsubishi are among the international consortiums funding the project.

In October 2001, Exxon-Mobil declared the nearby Sakhalin I Project commercial, an announcement that is expected to result in a further $25 bill-

ion capital investment in the region.

An Meá has been selected health safety and environmental management service provider after completing similar services for Shell in Oman. The firm’s work involves teaching Russian nationals to manage the risks involved in the project, which will employ around 16,000 workers.

A production sharing agreement between the Russian Government and the developers requires that 70 per cent Russian content be achieved over the life of the project.

The greenfield project involves construction of two offshore production platforms, onshore production handling facilities, 800 kilometres of oil and gas export pipelines and two LNG plant trains with combined annual capacity of 9.6 million tonnes, for at least 25 years.

An Meá chairman Sean O’Donnell said the Russian region provided enormous opportunities for Western Australian firms seeking to build on their expertise.

“This is an important strategic win for our WA-based company,” Mr O’Donnell said.

“It opens the doors to an exciting new market in an area of the world under-going rapid growth driven by enormous foreign investment.”

“The geographical location of Sakhalin provides a great bonus for Australian businesses looking to take advantage of opportunities in the region. Perth is almost in the same time zone as Sakhalin Island.”

Austrade national manager of Central Europe Peter Kane said he hoped companies with products that matched project requirement would take part in the trade mission.

“Business opportunities aren’t restricted to the oil and gas industry,” Mr Kane said.

“The arrival of employees to the reg-ion will create demands for accommodation and recreational facilities, foodstuffs as well as in areas of social infrastructure in such fields as health care, education and environment. Requirements for imported materials and expertise are extensive and Australia is well placed in terms of capacity, experience and geographic proximity to win business.”

Sakhalin Island lies immediately north of the Japanese island of Hokkaido and has a population of about 700,000.

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