Management at Civmec are confident their new $30 million facility can help put the state back on the map as a fabrication centre.
THE Australian Marine Complex now boasts Australia’s biggest engineering and fabrication workshop with the official unveiling of Civmec Construction and Engineering’s $30 million facility this week.
The 29,200 square metre workshop is the biggest undercover fabrication space in Australia and represents the first stage of Civmec’s development plans for its seven-hectare site at the Henderson complex.
The second stage of its construction program is a $10 million, four-level office building, which is scheduled for completion in 2012.
Civmec chief operating officer Pat Tallon said the company’s investment in the AMC underlined its commitment to local participation in major Australian projects.
“We realise we need to be competitive in the world market but we have a strong belief in the skills of the workforce in WA,” Mr Tallon told WA Business News.
“We believe we can put WA back on the map and be a leading fabrication location.”
The facility has the capacity to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, irrespective of the weather, and Mr Tallon said he was confident Civmec would secure a big share of the lucrative contracts up for grabs in Western Australia’s booming mining sector.
Civmec has recently completed a number of major WA projects, including precast components for the modular off-loading wharf for Gorgon as well as tanks and buildings for the Binningup desalination plant.
It is currently working on modules for the Cape Lambert wharf and precast concrete structures for the Gorgon project.
Premier Colin Barnett was on hand to officially open Civmec’s workshop and applaud the company’s investment in local fabrication as well as training.
He said the state was: “On the brink of one of the world’s great investment cycles, and we shouldn’t underestimate the opportunities this presents.”
However, the premier stressed the importance of capitalising on this period of growth to develop new businesses and new skills.
“A workshop such as this is important in servicing that industry but also critically important in broadening out the economic role a resource economy can play and in terms of training,” Mr Barnett said.
“There are around 140 working in this workshop that could potentially rise to 600 at full capacity and they are about to start a significant and large apprenticeship program.”
Civmec’s workshop is the latest development at the AMC and follows a flurry of major developments at the industry hub south of Perth.
Civmec’s AMC neighbour, Matrix Composites and Engineering, announced a $36 million raising earlier this month, part of which will be used to fund the development of its headquarters at the complex.
WA company Modular Engineering has just completed a $2.5 million expansion of its AMC premises, including a two-storey office building and a 2,000sqm workshop.
FMC Technologies, which provides technology solutions for the energy industry, cut the ribbon on its new aftermarket facility in February.
FMC’s facility sits within the subsea cluster at the AMC and includes a workshop, three high-capacity cranes as well as office and storage space.
The AMC currently supports more than 100 businesses in four dedicated precincts for fabrication, shipbuilding, technology and support industries.
Its client list includes Chevron, which operates a quarantine inspection base and staging facility for materials destined for Barrow Island, and the Royal Australian Navy.
Increasing pressure on WA’s traditional industry precincts, such as Kewdale and Welshpool, is forcing businesses to look further afield to new industrial hubs, including the AMC.
Established in 2003, the AMC fabrication precinct and $200 million Common User Facility includes a fabrication hall, three wharves, a deepwater harbour as well as laydown and construction land.
It was jointly funded by state and federal governments, but a $170 million funding injection from the WA government expanded the facilities to include a floating dock, which was launched early in 2010.