Motherwell chases niche

A WA-based company is out to corner the information technology solutions for manufacturing and utility companies market.

Motherwell Information Sys-tems has just finished a $17 million project for China’s largest steel producer, Baosteel, which is ex-panding operations by 50 per cent.

Motherwell provided the control and customisation systems for the expansion of Baosteel’s raw

materials handling yard.

The yard is increasing its

handling capacity from 28 million tonnes per year to 40 million tonnes per year.

Motherwell business development director Steve Lieblich said it also put in a database managing scheduling, inventory and the like.

The China contract was a result of work Motherwell had done in bulk materials handling.

“One of our largest standing

customers is Cooperative Bulk Handling which exports 10 million tonnes of grain a year,” Mr Lieblich said.

“Our experience there gave us an understanding of the bulk

handling business. We had also developed tools, pieces of software and techniques that are reusable from project to project.”

The prior experience helped Motherwell beat the other bidders for the Baosteel project.

Nippon Steel, one of the major players in the total Baosteel

expansion, was widely expected to win the contract.

It had been involved with the project since the early 1990s and had several engineers on site.

“Our price was half of theirs. We had the existing tools. They had to start from scratch,” Mr Lieblich said.

Motherwell is now talking to Baosteel about further work. The company is also active in Australia and Indonesia.

“Bulk handling is a specialised niche market but we have other niches in oil and gas and the transport sectors,” Mr Lieblich said.

Motherwell provides much of WA-based smart card provider ERG’s software.

It has just completed the $8

million Hong Kong Octopus automated fare collection system with ERG.

Motherwell also designed and installed the control room for the Melbourne Citylink project which encompasses two major freeways and two tunnels.


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