An artist's impression of Woodside's proposed 700-bed camp in Karratha.

Woodside to spend $400m on Fifo camp

Wednesday, 9 August, 2017 - 14:33

Woodside Petroleum is hoping to win state government backing for a new 700-bed fly-in, fly-out camp at Karratha, after selecting a consortium led by Multiplex and Compass Group to build, own and operate the facility.

The new facility would reduce Woodside’s demand on other transient worker villages in Karratha.

It currently has about 950 employees and contractors across four facilities – Aspen, Cheratta, Civeo and Kingfisher.

The move by Woodside comes two years after former lands minister Terry Redman refused to extend the company’s lease on the Gap Ridge Fifo camp, as he pushed for more town-based accommodation.

Woodside indicated today it would continue to have a mix of Fifo and residential accommodation, having recently committed to spend $55 million refurbishing about 400 properties in Karratha owned by the North West Shelf venture.

“We are committed to maintaining our strong residential workforce in Karratha, which is why we have commenced an upgrade of our North West Shelf project housing,” vice-president Australia business Brad Russell-Lane said.

“At the same time, we have selected a consortium to build, own and operate a state-of-the-art transient worker accommodation facility, which will ensure workers’ health and wellbeing.”

The consortium includes European infrastructure investor DIF, which will be the project investor and manager, global facilities management company Compass Group (which trades as ESS Support Services Worldwide), and two arms of giant Canadian group Brookfield - construction company Multiplex and advisory firm Brookfield Financial.

The contract value for the initial 15-year term is $400 million.

This will cover the estimated $80 million construction cost and payments for operations and maintenance.

Construction is anticipated to begin in February 2018, assuming the state government executes a lease and development approvals are achieved.

A spokesperson for Lands Minister Rita Saffioti said members of the consortium would meet with the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage to discuss the lease.

“The minister will seek further advice once that has occurred,” the spokesperson said.

Multiplex WA regional managing director Chris Palandri said there would be a big focus on local procurement and jobs at the new facility.

“We have achieved more than 85 per cent local Pilbara employment on the Karratha Health Campus project and expect to exceed that figure for the construction of Woodside’s facility,” he said.

Woodside is pushing a similar message for its $55 million refurbishment program, which is being delivered over the next four years by lead contractors Pindan and H&M Tracey Construction.

They are aiming to directly procure more than 80 per cent of goods and services in the City of Karratha.

They also plan to achieve more than 30 per cent indigenous participation by providing training and employment opportunities for local Aboriginal people

The refurbishment program will focus primarily on internal improvements including painting, flooring, lighting, kitchens, bathrooms, laundries, security screens and, depending on condition, fencing and patios.