14/08/2007 - 22:00

Miners develop housing projects in the Pilbara

14/08/2007 - 22:00

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Building companies are set to benefit from strong mining-driven demand for housing in the Pilbara, with two major projects getting the go ahead in the past week.

Miners develop housing projects in the Pilbara

Building companies are set to benefit from strong mining-driven demand for housing in the Pilbara, with two major projects getting the go ahead in the past week.

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd announced on Friday that it had signed HFN Housing Group Pty Ltd to build 100 new homes, at a cost of $72 million, for its port and rail employees in the Pilbara area.

HFN Housing Group has been established to build housing in Hedland on a mass scale and is backed by a consortium of private companies.

The group is chaired by Angus James, owner of real estate agency, Hedland First National, and includes HWL Building Company Pty Ltd and Lawrence Associates Architects. 

Mr James said the group believed there was a good opportunity for growth in the Pilbara market and said it was also considering a hotel site development in the region.

“We want to establish a new era for Port Hedland,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nomad Building Solutions Ltd is close to finalising a $50 million contract to provide 138 homes to BHP Billiton Ltd, through its subsidiary, McGrath Homes.

The agreement is part of the miner’s $190 million, three-year housing plan for Port Hedland and Newman.

Nomad managing director, Phillip Guy, said the company was also building houses for individual BHP employees, in addition to its existing agreement to build 42 houses and 96 eco units for BHP in Newman.

He said the company planned to grow its business through using interstate suppliers.

Mr Guy said when freight costs were taken into account, there was no real difference in cost in bringing houses from Perth or QLD.

“We’re trying to create more capacity for people to source from.”

The company is investigating setting up a housing manufacturing company in the Pilbara, to provide an additional source of supply, which would be established early next year.

It is also considering acquiring a housing group in South Australia, which Mr Guy said would occur within the next six to nine months if the deal went ahead.

Nomad has housing contracts with Burrup Fertilisers Pty Ltd and Aspen Group Ltd, and several other mining companies in the Pilbara.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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