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O'Donnell Griffin grows mine-to-port business


The past year has seen electrical and communications engineering group O’Donnell Griffin consolidate its presence nationally in the mine-to-port sector, says O’Donnell Griffin Executive General Manager for Rail, Mr Peter Winder.

O’Donnell Griffin is presently completing its $96.5 million contract on BHP Billiton’s RGP5 works in the Pilbara. O’Donnell Griffin’s total contracts for electrical and rail-related works on the RGP development account now for almost $200 million.

“The work we have done for BHP Billiton has been a great success and has seen us move from an installation contractor to providing a complete solution including detailed design and commissioning. We have also produced significant efficiencies utilising a purpose built testing and fabrication facility in Perth,” says Peter.

The RGP5 works will increase heavy haul railroad loads on the Port Hedland to Newman line, which increases demand on the capacity and capability of the existing rail network. To cope with this expansion, a second track is being laid and O’Donnell Griffin will design, install, test and commission the new signalling. The work is located along BHP Billiton Iron Ore’s main railroad which runs south for 426 kilometres.

O’Donnell Griffin has also been involved in the design, planning and installation of electrical works in the completion of its long-term contract at the $1.2 billion Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal Redevelopment near Mackay in Queensland. The company carried out more than $36 million of works here, involving the development’s major electrical upgrade and onshore and offshore conveyor systems related to its new 3.8 kilometre jetty, undertaken to address ongoing backlogs in the outloading of the region’s coal production.

The Dalrymple contracts demanded that stringent time and budget targets be met, while keeping the coal terminal running at near-full capacity, with careful planning for shutdowns and changeovers.

In other Queensland business activity, O’Donnell Griffin has just completed electrical works projects at Queensland Magnesium’s expansion works, near Rockhampton; at Middlemount Coal, for Sedgmans and Macarthur Coal in the Bowen Basin; and refrigeration works for Xstrata at Mt Isa, in north-west Queensland.

Other related mine-to-port works for O’Donnell Griffin nationally include:

  • The successfully completed OzMin Prominent Hill mine project in South Australia, where O’Donnell Griffin installed the HV & LV electrical reticulation for the process plant delivering some $10 million in revenue.
  • The $4.7 million rail signalling and communications services contract for the rail extension required to take coal from the main line to a new 30 Mtpa coal ship-loader facility on Kooragang Island in Newcastle’s Port Waratah, on a location to the west of the existing 95Mtpa facility.
  • Miscellaneous electrical works in the Bowen Basin in central Queensland for BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), Australia’s largest coal miner and exporter. This recurring revenue contract is worth $5-6 million per annum and comes on top of contracts for the Lead Zinc upgrade and MIT Switchyard
Peter said O’Donnell Griffin is highly respected in the mine-to-port sector for its focus on safety. During RGP4 contract work, the project team received a letter of commendation identifying O’Donnell Griffin’s safety performance on the project as “one of the outstanding achievements for this site”. It also said that O’Donnell Griffin achieved the highest quarterly safety audit score and consistently met targets for inspections, behaviour-based observations and hazard reporting.

O’Donnell Griffin has also developed a proactive campaign to address the significant skills shortage in the rail sector, especially in graduate engineering roles, both by developing its own Rail Engineering Graduate university program and an offshore recruitment drive, presently in its next rollout phase in Europe.

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