Super Kong makes Australian debut

The Super Kong 600 has some other impressive numbers too, such as an eccentric moment of 20,000 inch pounds (23,090kg-cm) and a maximum line pull for extraction of 2224kN. Using a quad clamp system, the Super Kong can drive a 3m-diameter caisson 60m into the ground with ease, according to Brisbane-based importer Cesco Australia. Cesco says the advanced technology used in the big hammer puts it “light years ahead” of the competition. The Super Kong 600 has been designed with a lined, bored top plate to reduce the number of hoses and increase the serviceability of the suppressor. The machine’s helical motor gear design reduces internal parts while delivering a higher eccentric moment than direct drive units. Cesco has teamed the Super Kong up with an equally impressive hydraulic powerpack. The FAV 1050 is built around Caterpillar’s C27 ACERT engine, which delivers 745 kilowatts at 2100rpm. Maximum pressure is 340 bar with a flow of 1219 litres per minute.Cesco launched FAV vibratory hammers onto the Australian market in July this year. The hammers are supplied to Cesco by its Singapore-based sister company, FAE, a major supplier of piling equipment to the Asian market.The model range available for sale or hire includes six excavator-mounted machines as well as five bigger units designed for use with a crawler crane and powerpack.*This article was first published in Contractor magazine.

Industry Report – Projects

NORTHERN TERRITORYRESOURCESInpex LNG plant at Blaydin Point, Middle Arm (Proposed)Principal: InpexScope: 8Mtpa two-train LNG plant, 850km pipeline from Ichthys gas fieldStatus: Inpex says the complexity of front-end engineering and design will result in the company needing to push back its final investment decision to late 2010 or early 2011. Inpex was originally expecting to make a final investment decision in early 2010. First LNG remains on track for 2015Purpose: Develop Ichthys field in Browse Basin off WA with reserves of 12.8 trillion cubic feet of gas and 527 million barrels of condensate Contractors: FEED – JKC Joint Venture (JGC Corporation, KBR, Chiyoda Corporation)Value: $20 billion(Update: Inpex announcement of delay in making final investment decision, November 2009)NORTHERN TERRITORYWATEREast Arm Wharf, Darwin (Proposed)Principal: InfrastructureScope: Overland conveyor from bulk minerals storage to bulk loader on wharf, reclamation of land behind bulk loading facility known as pond F, upgrade and seal eastern reclaimed area on wharf to provide additional hardstand includes rail interchangeStatus: Contract awarded to transport first fill to port and for civil works onsite, November 2009Contractors: Sage Constructions (fill to port, site works)Purpose: Significantly increase Port of Darwin’s capacity, and confirm Darwin as significant transport and logistics centreValue: $150 million (Update: NT government announcement of award of tender, November 2009)NEW SOUTH WALESRAILMaldon-Dombarton Rail Link (Proposed)Principal: TransportScope: 35km rail line linking the Main South rail line (national network) at Maldon (near Picton in southwest Sydney) to existing 15km section of dual track from Dombarton to Port KemblaStatus: Tenders close on December 4, 2009, for independent consultants to conduct feasibility study which will take 18 months to complete, November, 2009Contractors: NAValue: NA(Update: Federal government call for tender, November 2009)QUEENSLANDWATERTraveston Crossing Dam, Mary River (Proposed)Principal: InfrastructureScope: 153,000 million litres water located 27km upstream of Gympie, in Mary River catchment. Status: Federal environmental approval denied for project on the grounds that there would be serious and irreversible effects on threatened species of lungfish, Mary River cod and bottom-breathing Mary River turtle. The government stated the area that would be flooded by this proposal was critical habitat for these species, November 2009. Queensland government announced that due to rejection of Traveston Crossing Dam, land would set aside for construction of new desalination plants at Lytton and Marocoola by 2017-18Purpose: Secure safe and reliable water supply for southeast QueenslandContractors: NAValue: $1.8 billionUpdate: Federal environment minister rejected Traveston Crossing Dam, November 2009QUEENSLANDWATERWivenhoe Dam-Toowoomba Pipeline (Current)Principal: Toowoomba Regional Council-LinkWaterScope: 38km underground pipeline to transfer water from Wivenhoe Dam near Brisbane to Cressbrook Dam near ToowoombaStatus: Pipelaying completed two months ahead of schedule; construction of pump station 70% complete; project operational and pumping water by January 2010Purpose: Supply 14,200 million litres of water per year from Wivenhoe Dam Contractors: Clough, Diversified Construction, Maunsell AECOM (design and build) Aconex (online collaboration system to streamline communication and information)Value: $187 million(Update: State government announcement of project status, November 2009)QUEENSLANDROADSForgan Bridge Replacement and Duplication, Mackay (Current)Scope: Replacement and upgrade to four lanes of Forgan Bridge connecting Sydney Street to Kooyong Intersection, Mackay. Stage 1 includes piling, construction of headstocks, final deck units and road surface works. Stage 2 includes demolition of existing Forgan Bridge and construction of new two-lane bridgeStatus: Final pile for stage 1completed, November 2009. Stage 1 completion April 2010. Stage 2 completion mid-2011Contractors: Golding Contractors.Value: $148 million(Update: State government announcement of project status, November 2009)SOUTH AUSTRALIARESOURCESOlympic Dam Expansion. 560km north of Adelaide (Proposed)Principals: BHP Billiton Scope: Mine, infrastructure, processing plant expansion to double production capacity possibly involving open pit mine, coastal desalination plant at Upper Spencer Gulf and pipeline, airport relocation, additional power transmission line or natural gas pipeline to onsite power generator, rail line to Pimba, road-rail transfer facility, export infrastructure at East Arm (Darwin), doubling of Roxby Downs townshipStatus: On October 6, 2009, an incident caused significant damage to operating equipment at Clark Shaft haulage system, which is responsible for 75% of mine’s ore production. Repair work to damaged equipment well advanced. Temporary equipment will be commissioned to allow repair work to commence inside Clark Shaft. Ore production is continuing via secondary Whenan Shaft, which is hoisting 25% of production. Trials will begin soon on trucking some ore to surface via existing decline. The temporary closure of Clark Shaft has enabled BHP Billiton to bring forward maintenance work originally scheduled for 2010, including major smelter reline, November 2009. Macmahon advises short-term changes have been made to its operation due the Clark Shaft incident, resulting in short-term reduction in scope of its underground work, November 2009. Final government decision on the expansion of Olympic Dam mid-2010Purpose: BHP considering five-stage expansion to increase capacity from 200,000tpa to 500,000tpa copper, 4300tpa to 19,000tpa uranium. The expansion centres on the creation of an open pit mine, which would lift ore production six-fold and require expanded minerals processing facilities. The open pit mine would operate simultaneously with the existing underground mine. New and expanded infrastructure, and facilities to accommodate an expanded workforce, would also be requiredContractors: Macmahon (underground mine development)Value: $6.7 billion(Update: BHP and Macmahon announcements of project status, November, 2009)SOUTH AUSTRALIARAILNoarlunga Rail Line Upgrade (Current)Principal: Transport, Energy and InfrastructureScope: Upgrade sections of Noarlunga line between Goodwood and Jetty Road, Brighton includes refurbishing/replacing rail and replacing wooden sleepers with gauge convertible concrete sleepersStatus: Construction commenced November 2009Purpose: Upgrade is first step towards electrification of Noarlunga line.Contractors: John Holland and Coleman RailValue: NA (part of $2 billion upgrade of public transport system) (Update: State government announcement of project, November 2009)SOUTH AUSTRALIARAILPrincipal: Transport, Energy and InfrastructureScope: Electrification of Adelaide’s metropolitan rail networkStatus: Expressions of interest being called for design, construction, operation and maintenance of electrified rail networkContractors: NAValue: NA (Part of $2 billion investment in public transport infrastructure)VICTORIAURBAN DEVELOPMENTHamer Hall Redevelopment, Southbank Cultural Precinct, Melbourne (Proposed)Principal: Arts Victoria, Major Projects VictoriaScope: New auditorium, improved acoustics, seating, staging, expanded foyers includes new connections to Central Melbourne, St Kilda Road and Yarra RiverStatus: Contract awarded, November 2009; construction commencing mid-2010Purpose: Overhaul professional and audience features of concert hall, open precinct to Yarra RiverContractors: Baulderstone (contractor); Ashton Raggatt McDougall (architects)Value: $128.5 million(Update: State government announcement of award of contract, November 2009)WESTERN AUSTRALIA ENERGYGorgon Gas Project, Barrow Island (Current)Principals: Chevron (50%), ExxonMobil (25%), Shell (25%)Scope: Gas field development, subsea pipelines to Barrow Island, three 5Mtpa LNG processing trains, LNG shipping facilities, 300 terajoule/day domestic gas plant, pipeline to mainland, carbon dioxide injection facilityStatus: Kellogg Joint Venture Group (KJVG) awarded contract to Mermaid Marine for provision of stevedoring and related services at projects North West Supply Base, November 2009Purpose: Develop Greater Gorgon gas field including IO/Janz field’s estimated 40 trillion cubic feet gas resource 130-200km off WA northwest coast with state’s largest LNG plant and domestic gas facilityContractors: EPCM, FEED – Kellogg Joint Venture Gorgon (KBR E&C Australia-JGC Corporation-Clough Projects Australia-Hatch Associates): Offshore Marine Services Alliance (Skilled Group, Singapore’s Ezion Holdings and Hong Kong-based Pacific Basin Shipping) to supply marine vessels and labour. TDK Group (Decmil Australia, Thiess, Kentz) construct village on Barrow Island, Nomad Modular Building to manufacture and supply central facilities buildings for construction village; MPower (28MW power plant); CB&I LNG Tanks, (LNG tanks, condensate tanks, electrical and civil works); Boskalis Australia (design and construct port); Kentz Corporation (electrical works); Cimeco (refurbish terminal tank); Mermaid Marine (Stevedoring)Value: $43 billion(Update: Mermaid Marine announcement of award of contract, November 2009)WESTERN AUSTRALIAENERGYPluto Liquefied Natural Gas Project, Burrup Peninsula (current)Principal: Woodside (90%), Kansai Electric (5%), Tokyo Gas (5%)Scope: 180km, 36in subsea pipeline to onshore LNG processing train on Burrup Peninsula, storage tanks, service infrastructure; loading jetty, shipping channel and turning basinStatus: Dual contracts for Pluto Train 2 and Train 3 front-end engineering design (FEED) awarded to Foster Wheeler and WorleyParsons (an unincorporated joint venture PJV) and KBR, November 2009; Downer EDI awarded contract for electrical and instrumentation works, November 2009. Completion of FEED studies second half 2010Purpose: Develop estimated 5tcf Pluto and Xena fields 190km northwest of Karratha Contractors: Onshore Foster Wheeler WorleyParsons (FEED and EPCM), BGC (storage and export site preparation), Leighton Contractors (LNG train site preparation), CB&I (storage tanks), Boskalis (dredging), Ngarda Alliance (accommodation); STP&I (module fabrication), Decmil Australia (civil works, central control room), Nomad (accommodation); Offshore EOS (front-end engineering), JP Kenny and Atteris (flowline, trunkline engineering), Acergy (subsea installation), McDermott Industries (platform installation); RCRFM Services (mechanical works, warehouse services); Forge Group (Design and construct); CAPE Australia (Scaffolding); AGC Industries (construction support services); Link Weld Engineering (fabrication of subsea tie-in spools); United Group (major process modules, structural steel, pipe work); Monadelphous (plant offsite utilities, acid gas removal unit); Ferguson Modular (module accommodation); Kentz Corporation (high-voltage cabling, switchboards, transformers); FEED for Pluto Train 2 and Train 3 (Foster Wheeler-WorleyParsons and KBR); Downer EDI awarded (electrical and instrumentation)Value: $12 billion(Update: Woodside announcement of award of FEED contracts, November 2009)WESTERN AUSTRALIAWATEROrd – East Kimberley Expansion Project (Current)Principal: Regional Development, LandsScope: Road infrastructure for 14,000ha development including potentially Packsaddle area, Ord West Bank, Mantinea and M2 areaStatus: Four shortlisted proponents announced for main contractor, November 2009; earthworks on district’s main (M1) water supply channel commenced February 2009Purpose: Provide necessary base infrastructure to enable development of Ord irrigation area into a world-class agricultural precinct with first release of new agricultural blocks expected by 2011Contractors: Short-listed proponents: Leighton/Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) Joint Venture; Team Savannah (BGC Contracting and Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction Joint Venture); Macmahon Contractors; Transfield Services Australia Ertech Joint Venture.Value: $415 million ($220 million from state’s Royalties for Regions funding and $195 million under Australian government’s Nation Building – East Kimberley Development Package) (Update: Landcorp announcement of shortlist, November 2009)

VDM aiming for $35M

The combined capital raising includes a placement of 10 million shares at 50c each to raise $5 million, a fully underwritten renounceable entitlement offer to VDM Group shareholders on a three for seven basis at an issue price of 42c per share to raise about $25 million, and a second placement of 10 million shares at 47.5c to raise a further $4.75 million.Chairman John Saleeba said the proceeds of the capital raising will be used to reduce bank debt and augment working capital for expected future growth. “VDM Group will pay down $15 million of its bank debt, reducing gearing levels to 30 per cent,” he said. “We plan to pay down bank debt by a further $16 million by June 30, 2010, through cash flow and non-core asset sales.”VDM currently has more than $340 million of work in hand, with some $300 million set to be completed this financial year. The company expects to report fiscal 2010 revenue of about $400 million.The entitlement offer closes on November 20 and a meeting of shareholders to approve the first and second placements will be held in early December.

Downer EDI soars on 14% profit jump

The engineering services and mining contractor group posted a net profit after tax (NPAT) of $189.4 million, up from $165.8 million last year. The news saw Downer EDI’s share price soar as much as 15%, or $1.06, to an intraday high of $8.14 in morning trade.Total revenue jumped 6.3% to $5.9 billion, while earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) was $304.8 million, up 8.4% on last year. Operating cash flows gained 21.9% to $336.5 million while work-in-hand remains strong at $14.6 billion. “This is a pleasing result which demonstrates the robustness of the group’s business strategy,” Downer EDI chief executive and managing director Geoff Knox said. “The group delivered record earnings, securing new projects, and extending and renewing contracts with key clients.“We further strengthened our service offering and our geographical footprint with a number of bolt-on acquisitions in Australia and New Zealand.” Looking ahead, the company anticipates 5% growth in NPAT in financial year 2010 and is looking to build on its strong presence in infrastructure, oil and gas, renewable energy and water markets. “The group’s work-in-hand of $14.6 billion, achieved in tighter markets, provides a good indication of our ability to further grow the business,” Knox added.“New opportunities for organic growth present a sound forward outlook.” In the meantime, the company’s board has declared an unfranked final dividend of 16c per share, up from 12.5c per share last year. The final dividend takes the full year total to 29c, up from 25.5c last year.Shares in Downer EDI have cooled to $7.78, down 2c, in mid-morning trade.

Compaction time savings ahead with new Ammann tech

According to Doug Coleman from Ammann distributor Conplant, the new Ammann compaction system, the ACE Plus, may eventually be used in place of the additional independent testing. “Currently, compaction needs to be tested separately after the roller work is done, and the process can be very time consuming,” Coleman said. “Work has to stop while the compaction test is completed – and if the test shows the level of compaction is not right, then the area has to be ripped up and started again. “Many contractors put the rest of the job on hold while they wait for confirmation of compaction test results, so there’s a lot of lost time. “With ACE Plus, the operator knows that the compaction level is right, so contractors can be confident that they can get on with the job while they await results. “Meanwhile, they’re hoping that in the future the RTA and other like governing bodies will allow them to use ACE Plus instead of the separate testing process.” ACE Plus comes just a year after the launch of the Ammann Compaction Expert (ACE).ACE was the first electronic measuring and control system to automatically adjust amplitude and frequency to suit individual ground characteristics. The new generation technology combines GPS capability with “intelligent compaction” to take the guesswork out of the job.Coleman said that like the original ACE system, ACE Plus lets the operator know when optimum compaction levels have been reached, drastically reducing over and under compaction. “With the new ACE Plus system, GPS capability means the system can not only track the passes made, it can relay this information in real time. “So, for instance, information about the stiffness in a specific location could be sent back to head office for review by an engineer while the operator is still on the job,” he said. The first roller fitted with ACE Plus is currently at work on a joint Thiess/RTA highway upgrade project from Herons Creek to Coopernook in northern New South Wales.

High-tech gas turbines will add Verve to WA grid

The GE Energy LMS100 turbines operate at 44-50% efficiency – significantly greater than conventional open cycle generators, which run at around 30-35% efficiency.GE says the LMS100 turbines use “aeroderivative” technology borrowed from the company’s jet engine division.Part of that technology is an intercooled compressor that significantly improves the turbine’s hot weather performance – an important benefit for Perth’s peak demand days in summer.Energy Minister Peter Collier said the high efficiency turbines had not been installed anywhere else in Australia.“They will be at least one-third more efficient than the generators they will replace and more efficient than the existing open-cycle gas turbines in Verve Energy’s fleet,” he said.Collier said the new turbines were also better designed for stop-start operation, which will give Verve more flexibility and reduce its carbon profile.Construction will start soon for completion by late 2011.The minister said Verve was negotiating with a potential joint venture partner to fund a refurbishment and recommissioning of the Muja A and B power stations.The coal-fired Muja A and B stations are more than 40 years old and were mothballed two years ago.“A refurbished Muja AB, with a total capacity of 240 megawatts, fitted out to improve its environmental performance, will help address potential energy security concerns flowing from the slowdown of investment in new generation caused by the current economic downturn,” Collier said.“Verve Energy’s ageing fleet is becoming less reliable and investment is required to ensure these assets can be relied upon.”

Construction Movers

Taking the biggest dip was Boart Longyear, which lost 22.7%, possibly as a result of the wide-reaching cutbacks announced by BHP Billiton last week.Also taking a hit was crane major Boom Logistics, which shed 21.8%, while Perth-based engineering and construction service provider RCR Tomlinson was also considerably down, losing 20% over the last two full days of trade.One of the few making gains was pipe lining junior Vortex Pipes, which again put on some 53% to close yesterday at 4c.Clough was also up, finishing 18.3% higher at 35c, while construction services outfit Forge Group also gained ground, closing 11% higher at 20c.

German engineering to provide Pluto access

The scaffolding will be supplied through Layher’s local subsidiary, Layher Pty Ltd, and construction is starting immediately. Layher said it would also provide technical advice, engineering support and training. The company said the use of its scaffolding system is expected to provide significant efficiencies for the contractors. A Layher spokesperson told the scaffolding is strong yet lighter than other scaffolding systems, there are fewer components and it is quicker to install and take down. Layher’s scaffolding system is used internationally on major industrial projects in the oil and gas and mining industries as well as for the construction and event industries. Group managing director Georg Layher said the Pluto project had firmly established Layher scaffolding systems as the preferred choice in the Australian oil and gas industry. Pluto is expected to produce first gas in late 2010 and is set to become Australia’s second-largest resources project.

Redundancies push Cat into first quarter loss

The equipment major said it was the $558 million in redundancy costs that pushed it into negative territory, implying the company would have made a profit of $446 million without the costs of cutting staff. The $112 million loss compares with the $922 million profit recorded for the first calendar quarter of 2008 – down a whopping $1.034 billion.Caterpillar’s revenue for the quarter was $9.225 billion, down 22% from $11.796 billion in the first quarter of 2008.”This is an extremely difficult time for employees affected by this severe economic downturn, and providing them with financial assistance and transitional support is important,” Caterpillar chairman Jim Owens said. “While redundancy costs have been a considerable expense, it’s the right thing to do for our people.”Our business units are making the tough decisions necessary to respond to this widespread and sharp global recession.”Caterpillar has lowered its outlook for calendar 2009, and is now expecting revenue of approximately $35 billion for the year, down from the $40 billion forecast in January.

Industry Report – Contracts

The project will deliver 20km of upgraded road from Tianjara Falls to Billy’s Hill near Bulee Gap, improving the steep incline east of Sassafras and linking the first two stages of workEVERY Tuesday and Friday, CIN’sIndustry Report brings you up to date with major earthmoving, construction and supply contracts in civil engineering and mining awarded around the countryNEW SOUTH WALESTRANSPORTUpgrade Morisset Station interchange includes improvements to 170 car parking spaces, new bus interchange, taxi rank, bicycle parking and dedicated pick-up/drop-off area; installation of canopies and bus shelters and improved lighting and expansion of CCTV: Kingston Civil ConstructionsContract price: NA (project value $4.5 million)Starting date: April 2009Completion date: Later in 2009NEW SOUTH WALESROADS AND TRAFFIC AUTHORITYStage 3 upgrade 20km road from Tianjara Falls to Billy’s Hill near Bulee Gap, Main Road 92: NACE CivilContract price: $24,806,299Starting date: Mid-2009Completion date: April 2010NEW SOUTH WALESTRANSGRIDCivil and electrical work required at Sydney South Substation to replace existing Cable 41 330kV 150MVAr No.1 shunt reactor with a new 330kV 180MVAr shunt reactor unit, also includes dismantling, removal and replacement of 330kV surge arrester as nominated in scope of work. The existing Cable 41 330kV 150MVAr No.1 shunt reactor will be scrapped under this contract: Jemena Asset ManagementContract price: NAStarting date: April 2009Completion date: August 2009NORTHERN TERRITORYPLANNING AND INFRASTRUCTUREMaintenance of roadside furniture, concrete works, pavement and drainage repairs, Alice Springs region: Aussie MandiasContract price: $1,475,539.65Starting date: April 2009Completion date: 12 MonthsNORTHERN TERRITORYPLANNING AND INFRASTRUCTUREPavement rehabilitation 1743-1746km on Stuart Highway, Alice Springs region: Ostojic GroupStarting date: April 2009NORTHERN TERRITORYPLANNING AND INFRASTRUCTURERegravel shoulders and seal edge strip on various sections of Stuart Highway, Alice Springs region: Ostojic GroupContract price: $422,894Starting date: April 2009NORTHERN TERRITORYPLANNING AND INFRASTRUCTUREAsphalt resurfacing inbound lanes only 5.13- 5.56km, Stuart Highway, Darwin: Downer EDI WorksContract price: $160,095.10Starting date: April 2009QUEENSLANDTOWNSVILLE CITY COUNCILConstruct 7km roadway from existing section of North Shore Boulevard to Mt Low Parkway, North Shore Boulevard: Seymour WhyteContract price: $1.6 millionStarting date: August 2009SOUTH AUSTRALIALAND MANAGEMENT CORPORATIONLochiel Park – recycled water design and construct, Adelaide: Waternish ConstructionsContract price: $1,186,394Starting date: April 2009Completion date: November 2009VICTORIASUSTAINABILITY AND ENVIRONMENTMain building works for Heywood major works project to provide departmental headquarters: England Building CoContract price: $3,308,525Starting date: March 2009Completion date: March 2010VICTORIAVICROADSShoulder construction and sealing, drainage, kerb and channel, guardrail and miscellaneous works on Ringwood – Warrandyte Road between Tortice Drive Ringwood North and Kendall Road Warrandyte: Global ContractingContract price: $778,798.30Starting date: April 2009VICTORIAVICROADSInstallation of wire rope safety barriers and steel beam guard fence on Calder Highway (section 2) 41-57km (forward) 46-90km (southbound): TA LindsayContract price: $693,537Starting date: April 2009VICTORIAVICROADSIntersection improvements on Running Creek Road at Kancoona and Happy Valley Road at Rosewhite in northeastern Victoria: 4 Site AustraliaContract price: $406,863.05Starting date: April 2000VICTORIAVICROADSInstallation of traffic signals and associated civil works at the intersection of Moe-Glengarry Road and Dinwoodie Drive, Moe: CityWide Service SolutionsContract price: $296,662.29Starting date: April 2009WESTERN AUSTRALIAWATERProvision of drilling services for Carnarvon Artesian Basin Rehabilitation project: Drilling Contractors AustraliaContract price: $1,320,000Starting date: April 2009Completion date: April 2010