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Water deals flowing to Tyco

KWINANA-based steel pipe manufacturer Tyco Water is planning a major expansion after winning an $80 million contract with the Water Corporation.

Under the five-year contract, Tyco Water will supply about 200 kilometres of steel pipe for the Water Corporation’s ongoing development program.

Tyco also recently secured an $8 million contract to manufacture large diameter pipes for water infrastructure being built on the Burrup Peninsula.

Thanks to the new contracts it plans to increase staff from 42 to more than 60.

It will also employ subcontractors to carry out specific tasks.

Tyco Water’s market manager WA Denis Ericson said the company had invested $4 million since 2001 modernising and upgrading its Kwinana plant.

This followed Tyco’s purchase of the plant from the former Tubemakers group (now OneSteel) that had been part of BHP.

Mr Ericson predicted local suppliers would reap significant flow-on benefits as a result of the new contracts.

“We intend not only to continue this support but, for the first time, we will also engage the services of a local transport company to cart the finished steel water pipe to all areas of Western Australia,” he said.

Tyco’s Kwinana plant is the only one of its type in WA. However, it faces vigorous competition from imported steel pipes and alternative materials, such as plastic pipes.

Two years ago the company supplied 105 kilometres of 1.4-metre diameter water pipe to link Perth with the Harvey and Stirling dams.

Mr Ericson said more than a dozen offshore manufacturers had competed for that contract.

Due to its success over many years, most of WA’s water supplies flow through pipes made at the Kwinana plant.

Looking ahead, Mr Ericson said Tyco Water was assessing export opportunities, particularly in the Middle East and China.

“Tyco Water is committed to investigating the full potential of these markets, projecting that export sales from the Kwinana plant could reach at least $3 million within five years.”

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