After 18 months fighting hard to retain its 100 employees, Port Kembla engineering and project management firm Mainteck has won two major contracts that will see it double the size of its workforce and help many other companies.
Today’s announcement of more than $100million of total work coincides with Mainteck’s recruitment drive.
It is reward for two years of negotiation by managing director Rory McNeill, who said the company was celebrating today with one of the biggest crane lifts in the region since the No5 Blast Furnace reline.
K.J. Industrial Scaffolding, K&R Fabrications and Bass Electrical are sharing in the good news.
They are part of a consortium to secure fly-in fly-out work for the Illawarra. But much of the work on the two new contracts will be done at Port Kembla.
Mr McNeill and general manager Tim Moss said the company won a major tender with global mining company Anglo American to deliver the structural, mechanical and piping installation for the coal overland conveyor system for the Grosvenor longwall project in Central Queensland.
It has also successfully competed for a contract to manage and construct a large project presently under way at Port Kembla’s outer harbour.
The Illawarra Mercury understands that is for Cement Australia’s $180million cement-grinding mill that is creating 150 construction jobs.
Mr McNeill said Mainteck was also on the verge of securing other projects in Western Australia, Victoria and NSW.
‘‘The cumulative value of all the work we have already got is going to exceed $100million,’’ he said.
‘‘And we are dragging about $15million worth of work into the Illawarra for subcontractors, such as fabrication work [which] we are putting out to tender. Dragging work back to the Illawarra is really important.’’
Historically around 90per cent of Mainteck’s work was carried out inside the Port Kembla steelworks but it began looking for opportunities to diversify a decade ago.
In 2011 the Mainteck consortium successfully secured fly-in fly-out work in Queensland’s Bowen Basin. Mr Moss said BlueScope continued to be an important client but winning new tenders provided more job security to Mainteck’s loyal workforce and opportunities for other companies.
He said Mainteck would be doing as much fabrication as possible at Port Kembla.
‘‘This provides us about nine to 12 months’ solid work,’’ he said. Mr Moss said work would start immediately on the Anglo American project.
“We will be carrying out the fabrication and installation of coal handling systems to service the new mine,” he said.
“This project will involve around 90 workers on site and provide significant fabrication opportunities for Illawarra and South Coast companies. This month we will be sending engineers, riggers, boilermakers and fitters to Queensland to work a 10 day on/four day off roster.” Mr Moss said jobs were already being generated from the other project at Port Kembla.
“This will not only provide work for our current staff but we have started advertising for more workers,” he said.
‘‘That includes subbies. In terms of those two projects plus a few other things on the books, we will go from 100 to 200.’’