More positive news for Perth and WA!
Aug 28, 2018
Jobs bonanza promise as Perth puts its case as LNG hub
WA is on the cusp of a $9 billion-a-year jobs bonanza servicing Australia’s vast LNG projects as an alliance of energy giants bids to make Perth the southern hemisphere’s version of Aberdeen, Doha and Houston.
WA’s Agent General in London, Mike Deeks, has flown to Norway to spearhead the push to get multinational engineering and logistics companies to make Perth their southern headquarters and lock in thousands of high-paying jobs.
Mr Deeks’ bait at the ONS conference in Norway’s energy capital Stavanger, which started yesterday, will be that Australia’s LNG operators have won an exemption under competition laws and will be allowed to co-ordinate their maintenance programs.
Certainty over when shutdowns will occur and what servicing will be required is a major drawcard for engineering companies which will tender for an estimated $9 billion a year in work at Australia’s LNG projects, including WA’s North West Shelf, Gorgon, Wheatstone, Pluto and the soon-to-be commissioned Prelude platform.
The WA Government hopes this locked-in pipeline of work will encourage the likes of Halliburton, Schlumberger and WorleyParsons to base themselves in Perth and employ local specialist workers who could earn average annual salaries of $200,000.
The jobs push will be led by an LNG task force of Premier Mark McGowan, UnionsWA secretary Meredith Hammat and senior representatives from Chevron, Woodside, Santos, Shell and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association.
“We are the gorilla when it comes to this industry,” Mr McGowan said. “It’s a coup to get all of these companies in the same room. They want to have a long future here, a successful future here. Working together on this sort of thing is what we should be doing.”
Mr McGowan said Perth had advantages over the world’s established energy capitals.
The Gorgon LNG project's domestic gas plant on Barrow Island. The Gorgon LNG project's domestic gas plant on Barrow Island.Picture: Supplied. “You aren’t going to be working behind a barbed-wire fence or sitting in gridlocked traffic for hours trying to get to work and you can’t underestimate the drawcard of our weather,” he said in reference to Doha, Houston and Aberdeen.
A 2016 report by consultants McKinsey & Company underscored the value of the LNG production phase, which has always been overshadowed by the economic sugar-hit from construction work.
“A strong local service sector could play an important role in further improving the competitiveness of Australia’s LNG industry,” McKinsey noted.
“It would ensure high-quality service provision to operators, and allow them to innovate faster to become first movers in the deployment of productivity improvements. Such a service sector could become an economic engine in its own right.
“The size of the prize is big: up to 45,000 jobs, many of them highly skilled and with a long-term outlook, and an annual export value of up to $1 billion.”
McKinsey warned that without action by governments and industry, the “service sector would likely support 10,000 to 15,000 fewer jobs”.
APPEA chief operating officer Stedman Ellis said that, based on WA’s share of production, a more competitive service sector alone could generate between 5500 and 8250 local jobs.
“The full opportunity of establishing WA as a global LNG hub could be even higher because additional jobs would naturally come from increasing capacity or exporting services to other States and countries or other industries,” he said.