Workshops show local businesses how to get LNG contracts

WITH Gladstone's big three LNG plants coming into production soon, every business in town is looking for ways to take a slice of the industry pie.

But it's not anybody's for the taking.

The LNG proponents made it clear at last year's GEA Major Industry Conference that contractors for the operations and maintenance phase will be required to have and show sufficient knowledge of the LNG process before engaging with them for maintenance contracts.

In the latest of a round of workshops, seminars and information sessions, the Gladstone Engineering Alliance has engaged LNG industry specialists to give local companies the opportunity to brush up on their knowledge and ensure they familiarise their management with the LNG manufacturing process.

Specialists from Evans & Peck and Deloitte, who have been in the LNG industry for more than 30 years, will host in-depth two-day workshops to align GEA members and businesses in the best position possible.

GEA projects officer Robeya vander Walt said through the workshops delegates would be able to understand the differences between existing client companies, be able to identify specific opportunities within their companies to deliver to the industry, outline a strategy to match client expectations and needs, be able to engage with LNG operators and acquire cluster formation knowledge in order to amass enough resources and competences to sustain a competitive advantage.

The program involves a mixture of presentation and individual breakout sessions so proprietary or commercial confidentially is protected.

Each company will receive a specific report applying to their business and a facilitated introduction, to the right person within each of the LNG companies if their products or services are applicable.

Evans & Peck consultant Howard Thomas said the strange thing about economic cycles was that some companies made money and continued to grow regardless of the market conditions.

"Despite the incessant media speculation over economic conditions these companies thrive regardless, why is that?" he asked.

"Perhaps it is because they are prepared to follow strong business plans and when necessary reinvent themselves to capitalise on opportunity instead of worrying about what they don't control.

"Our program has this end result in mind, good understanding of the opportunity and planning accordingly. If that carries through into a cluster for Gladstone the possibilities then extend nationwide, it is an exciting prospect."

The LNG Strategic Development program is a one-off chance for participating Gladstone businesses to be given the opportunity to gain valuable and pertinent information from a third party on the reality of winning maintenance contracts with the LNG proponents.

For more information contact GEA on 4972 9060.

Workshops are scheduled for January 31 - February 1, February 2-3, February 7-8 and February 9-10. Workshops are limited to six companies with four delegates each per session.