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Vector in $16m Taiwanese deal

SPECIALIST local engineering firm Vector Lifting has secured a $16 million contract to design, manufacture and install maintenance equipment for the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation.

The Vector Joint Venture consists of Jandakot-based Vector Lifting, the China Steel Machinery Corporation and TECO.

Vector Lifting founder and managing director Les Capelli said the company beat tough competition from German and Japanese companies to win the Taiwan high-speed rail contract.

“The reason we were successful was mainly based on our technical ability,” Mr Capelli told WA Business News.

“We would be Australia’s largest supplier of specialised rail, crane and lifting equipment.”

Mr Capelli said the system designed for the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation was custom built and would be used to lift a 12-carriage train for maintenance.

He said the system was capable of lifting the 320-metre train to a height of 2.5m, despite each carriage weighing 60 tonnes.

Vector Lifting, which specialises in heavy industry and railway lifting systems, produces custom and specialised equipment for a range of industries including the railway, oil and gas, and mining industries.

Mr Capelli, who is a mechanical engineer, founded the privately owned firm in 1989.

The company employs 35 staff and has a sales office in Sydney.

Mr Capelli said the company would continue to target relevant overseas projects.

“Over the next two years, I would say that 50 per cent of our turnover would be exports,” he said.

Vector Lifting has been responsible for a range of other significant projects in WA, Australia and abroad, including the design and manufacture of Australia’s largest portal crane at the Australian Marine Complex at Jervoise Bay.

The company won an $8 million tender from Multiplex in 2002 to design and build the crane, which has a lifting capacity of 200t.

The two bridge beams of the crane each weigh about 15t and are 4.5m high and 65m long.

Vector Lifting has also been contracted to design and build the drive system, which moves the 2,500t assembly hall and two 20t underslung cranes suspended above the assembly hall.

Vector Lifting capabilities include the design and manufacture of explosion-proof cranes atop LNG tanks, helicopter lifting systems to make safe and economical service operations, passenger and freight rail cars, and pallet lifters.

In witnessing the signing of the deal with Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation in Perth, Development Minister Clive Brown said innovative companies such as Vector underpinned WA’s performance as Australia’s best performing State economy.

“Vector’s success against strong competition from German and Japanese multi-national companies was due to their ability to provide best engineering solutions to the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation,” he said.

“Vector’s long list of satisfied local and international clients is testament to its innovative outlook and productivity and clearly demonstrates the ‘can do’ attitude of WA companies.”

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