The National – Friday, December 24, 2010
AN Australian company has beaten off stiff overseas competition to win a multi-million dollar contract to supply specialist telecommunications rooms along the route of the inland pipeline for Papua New Guinea’s US$15 billion liquefied natural gas project.
Perth-based Lowrie Constructions Ltd will supply at least three separate telecommunications facilities in remote areas of the pipeline route.
This extends from Southern Highlands and Western provinces to Kopi on the southern coast before the gas and liquids enter a subsea pipeline to Port Moresby and the new LNG processing plant there, currently under construction.
Lowrie – an electrical/switch room manufacturing specialist wholly-owned by South Australian-based private equity firm, Paragon Private Equity – has already begun construction of the units, timed for first delivery to PNG through next year.
“PNG’s intense tropical weather and steep mountainous terrain poses demanding engineering challenges in ensuring both stability of installation and then long-term performance of the facilities despite their remoteness and surrounding climate,” Lowrie Construction’s general manager Adrian Poyner said yesterday.
“In addition, however, we had to compete against numerous international tenderers for the contract, so our systems performance, cost structures and delivery capability were critical factors to securing this – our largest ever contract in PNG,” Poyner said.
“We also had to demonstrate a proven track-record in pre-qualifying in regard to the client’s safety and quality criteria.”
Under the design, fabricate and construct contract, with one of the project’s major construction consortia, one of the telecommunications rooms to be located at the project’s marine terminal will be a double storey facility.
Lowrie says all rooms will be transported to Perth’s marine and rail export hub at Henderson and shipped to the eastern states prior to delivery to PNG.
A number of the rooms will arrive at their final destination via the giant Russian-built Antinov aircraft carrier.
The rooms will be fabricated, constructed and fitted out at two of Lowrie’s manufacturing sites in Perth before being exported.
This work will include installation of a complex HVAC system to ensure the rooms can cope with PNG’s local tropical conditions.