ICN passes the Gorgon test

The Chevron-operated Gorgon project is Australia’s largest single resource project. Over $20 billion in construction contracts are to be secured by Australian firms. ICN is helping over 1,000 firms bid for a share.

The Gorgon project will pump natural gas across 130km of ocean. Carrying much of that gas will be the HDPE pipes, 2 metres in diameter, purpose built by a small Western Australian firm, Kingston Bridge Engineering.

The project needed a local HDPE supplier who was willing to invest in technology. Each component had to meet strict requirements in its coatings, treatments and packing, to meet the environmental conditions for the project.

To help with the challenge, Chevron turned to ICN’s industry knowledge and networks. Through ICN and its usual tender processes, Chevron was introduced to Kingston Bridge Engineering.

To win its contracts, Kingston Bridge Engineering had to invest in a new plant to make the world’s largest HDPE pipes. Kingston Bridge Engineering is now one of just two firms in the world that can make the 2-metre pipes.

That investment has paid off in many ways. As well as $8.5 million in Gorgon contracts, Kingston Bridge Engineering has also earned an export contract to Hong Kong and another for a US-led project in Australia.

The success has been more than financial. The Gorgon project allowed Kingston Bridge Engineering to retain experienced staff during the global financial crisis, while other businesses were being forced to cut back.

In all, ICN has helped with Gorgon enquiries to just over 1,000 firms and so far 61 firms have been successful with contracts worth, collectively, over $1 billion.

The Gorgon challenge brought the best out of the ICN team, led by Linus O’Brien from ICN’s WA office.

“Gorgon has been the biggest project we’ve worked on,” says Linus, “and the exciting thing about it is the number of Australian firms we’ve been able to bring online.”

ICN is now setting itself for many new very large-scale projects: Chevron’s Gorgon and Wheatstone projects, Woodside’s Browse LNG project, INPEX’s $25 billion Ichthys LNG project, BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam mine and enormous LNG projects in the Gladstone area of Queensland.

“There are immense opportunities for Australian industry to benefit from one of the largest resources sector investment booms”, said the Prime Minister in announcing ICN’s role. “We want to make sure Australian businesses have the best chance at securing these contracts.”

The investment and construction phases of Australia’s resource boom are expected to continue well into the 2020s. The opportunities for Australian engineering and other supply firms are unprecedented. ICN will continue to support those firms who are looking to expand their own horizons.

ICN is Australia and New Zealand’s innovative industry matchmaker. If you’re a major project developer, ICN can put you in contact with the best suppliers. If you’re a supplier we will connect you with the best projects for your business.