Francis Logan

Francis Logan

Minister for Energy; Resources; Industry and Enterprise

    WA expertise reaches new heights

    20/07/2008 12:00 AM

    Work has been completed on what is believed to be the biggest single piece of equipment ever designed and manufactured in Western Australia.


    The 62m-high vessel, referred to as a naphtha splitter column, was built by the Kwinana-based engineering company, United Group Resources.


    This morning, it is expected to take three hours to transport the 300-tonne column four kilometres from United Group Resources to its final destination at the BP Refinery in Kwinana Beach.


    Once at the refinery, the column will be used to split fractions of liquid hydrocarbons for use in the manufacture of premium petrol.


    Industry and Enterprise Minister Francis Logan said the column was a fantastic example of the innovative design and fabrication methodology that was now available in WA.


    Mr Logan said United Group Resources deserved to be congratulated for successfully completing such a large infrastructure project.


    “The project is a great success story for WA and clearly demonstrates the State’s strengths as a quality design and manufacturing supplier,” he said.


    “It also highlights the benefits of applying local design expertise with skilled tradespeople to deliver competitive world-class outcomes for a local yet global company like BP.


    “The fact that United Group Resources was selected from a global tender to produce the column serves as testimony to the outstanding quality of local fabrication.”


    United Group Resources general manager of asset services in WA, Eugene Alessi, said the company had been selected for the project based on its local presence, capability and dependability.


    “Our expertise in the industry saw the fabrication of the column completed on schedule without any health, safety or quality issues,” Mr Alessi said.


    “The project provided significant challenges for our team because it required major support saddles and rotational devices, lifting attachments and complicated transportation requirements.


    “Undertaking such a high profile, quality project such as this provides sustainability for our local manufacturing industry.”


    BP Refinery’s business development manager Vanessa Kearney said the column was significantly larger that the refinery’s existing one, and that there were many advantages to having the equipment designed and manufactured locally.


    “Having the column manufactured locally enabled us to inspect it at various stages during the construction process so we could be sure that it was being made to BP’s standards,” Ms Kearney said.


    “We were also able to easily engage with United Group Resources and leverage off strong relationships which had already been established from on-site teams.”


    Mr Logan said the State Government recognised the importance of maximising local industry participation in major public and private sector projects such as these.


    He said the involvement of local industry helped WA establish a competitive edge in the global market place.


    Minister's office - 9222 8950