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MSP executive chair Peter McSweeney spent time in China to help develop the Tianqi expansion plans. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Lithium growth sparks MSP

Growing demand for battery metals has created a golden opportunity for MSP Engineering, with contracts for two big projects helping the business grow revenue by 6,000 per cent in three years.

The West Perth-based business was founded 50 years ago by John McSweeney and designed technology for processing at the Greenbushes tin mine.

Half a century later the mine is under the ownership of Talison Lithium, and producing a different commodity – lithium.

But family-owned MSP, which was named this year’s Rising Stars professional and large services winner, has retained its close ties to the Greenbushes operation.

(click here to read a PDF version of the full special report)

The business is lead contractor for the expansion of the mine, where capacity is increasing from about 600,000 tonnes per annum to as much as 2.8mtpa through a number of stages.

In Kwinana, where Talison part owner Tianqi Lithium is building a $700 million lithium hydroxide refinery, MSP is leading both stages of the project.

All of this has meant the company expanded its workforce from 20 people to 325, with an additional contract workforce of about 1,500.

MSP said it had been happy to take on design risk when other engineers may not, which had supported growth opportunities.

The company also believes its strong relationship with Tianqi has played a part in its success in winning lithium work.

Executive chair Peter McSweeney worked with Tianqi in China to develop a blueprint for the Kwinana operation, which will mean a dramatic increase in the scale of the company’s lithium hydroxide production.

MSP said its support for Tianqi had helped kick-off the battery metals manufacturing investment boom that has since taken off in Western Australia.

The company is also proud of its prioritisation of local content.

About 90 per cent of the Tianqi plant was made or sourced in WA, with only process critical equipment made elsewhere.

MSP plans to build on its position in metals and minerals processing, and diversify into new markets.

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Employees

32nd-Central SystemsNFP
33rd-MSP Engineering280
35th↓Wormall Civil240
36th↓Ertech237
101 contractors ranked by total staff in WA

Engineers

9th↓WSP165
10th↑Fluor Australia153
11th-MSP Engineering150
12th↓Hatch150
13th↑LogiCamms140
154 engineers ranked by number of engineers in WA

Number of Employees

Engineers

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