Locals punch well above their weight

BY international standards they may be just backyard operations, but many Western Australian firms are punching well above their weight in the international oil and gas and mining sector.

Surpac Software International Pty Ltd, which in October last year announced a merger with ECS International, operates one of the world’s largest mining software firms from its St Georges Terrace headquarters.

A survey by Mining Monthly recently found that Surpac dominated the estimated $5 million Australian mining software business with Australian revenue of around $2 million. The WA Business News Book of Lists 2003 ranks Surpac as WA’s 81st largest exporter with export revenue of $5 million in an estimated world market – including Australia – of $60 million a year.

While Surpac provides back-office support to the mining sector across the globe, others such as engineering firm J&E Hofmann Engineering, based in Bassendean, and Armstrong Electric Wholesalers have found niches in the international marketplace.

Armstrong Electric Wholesalers is ranked as the 98th largest WA exporter, while J&E Hofmann Engineering is ranked 85th on export turnover of $5 million.

Armstrong Electric Whole-salers managing director Peter Weadley said his company had been focused on the mining sector since 1985. Since then orders have been coming in from areas as diverse as Africa, Indonesia and Vietnam.

It currently is filling an order in Laos.

Mr Weadley said his company provided all electrical needs, from cabling to providing white goods and communication equipment in the offices and residences of the mining company employees.

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