19/12/2007 - 22:00

Top awards to GRD, HIsmelt

19/12/2007 - 22:00


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Mining services companies dominated the major business awards programs in Western Australia in 2007, which was a fitting reflection of the economic drivers during the year.

Mining services companies dominated the major business awards programs in Western Australia in 2007, which was a fitting reflection of the economic drivers during the year.

Engineering and infrastructure company, GRD Minproc, was one of the big winners, taking out the premier’s award for excellence at the 2007 WA industry and export awards.

The company also won the CY O’Connor award for excellence in engineering and technology.

The Minproc engineering business has been operating for about three decades under various ownership arrangements, and has designed and built dozens of mineral processing plants around the world.

It was historically very strong in the gold sector but had diversified and is now involved in designing and building nickel, uranium, copper, and gold projects.

It has designed and built more than 200 projects in 33 countries.

GRD also owns Global Renewables, which is developing a new business in the recycling and treatment of municipal waste.

Global Renewables built its first plant in western Sydney and this year finalised a contract for a much larger project in Lancashire in the UK.

The 25-year UK project will generate $5 billion in revenue over its full term.

It involves Global Renewables and its partner, Bovis Lend Lease, investing $800 million in the design, construction and operation of two waste treatment facilities to handle 600,000 tonnes of waste per year for a population equivalent to the size of Perth.

Its UR-3R process converts municipal waste into compost and reduces the amount of waste going to landfill.

Also at the WA industry & export awards, Rio Tinto Iron Ore and Risktec Australasia were inducted into the hall of fame.

Rio’s iron ore group is the world’s second largest exporter of iron ore, after Brazil’s Vale (formerly CVRD) and ahead of fellow Pilbara miner BHP Billiton.

Rio is in the midst of a rapid expansion program in the Pilbara involving the development of new mines, new railways and expanded port facilities.

It is also the majority shareholder in HIsmelt Corporation, which won high praise in this year’s engineering awards.

The HIsmelt project and its developers, led by Aker Kvaerner and Clough, were the overall winners in the WA engineering excellence awards.

The HIsmelt plant, developed at Kwinana at a cost of $400 million, involves a revolutionary direct reduction method of producing pig iron, a key ingredient in steel making.

The plant is able to use low-grade ores as the main feedstock and removes the need for sinter plants, which means hydrocarbon emissions are much lower than in a conventional blast furnace.

Rio and its partners in the project are hoping steel makers around the world, especially in China, will license the HIsmelt technology.

Risktec is a major international supplier of emergence management training to the oil and gas sector.

It operates training facilities in Perth, Jakarta, Singapore and the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan.

GMA Garnet, which won the minerals and energy industry export award, was the only WA company to also succeed at the Australian export awards. It has developed a global market for industrial garnet abrasives, involving sand-blast and high-pressure water jet cutting applications.

The company, headed by group managing director Torsten Ketelsen, mines industrial garnet near Port Gregory and exports the processed product from the port of Geraldton.

Its products are distributed worldwide, including in the US after the group opened an office in Houston last year.


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