|Gove, Northern Territory|
|Custom Transportable Buildings|
|LYSAGHT® Zed & Cee Purlins and Girts|
A Newcastle (New South Wales) company has completed construction of a series of world record breaking transportable buildings, and supplied them for delivery by sea.
The 11 electrical switchroom buildings, the largest two weighing 640 and 900 tonnes, were shipped to Gove in the Northern Territory on a special heavy lift barge imported for the task from New Zealand.
The 900 tonne switchroom building measured 36 metres long and 17 metres high when assembled.
The buildings' size meant that some had to be fabricated in preassembled modules, then disassembled for movement by platform trailer onto the barge bound for Gove.
The steel framed and steel clad buildings are a key element in a major expansion of the Alcan alumina refinery at Gove. They were built by Kooragang based Custom Transportable Buildings under a contract with Downer Engineering Power.
Custom Transportable Buildings manager Simon Griffiths said the complexity of the project had led to the formation of a unique alliance which covered the design, engineering, manufacture, air conditioning, logistics and transportation involved.
"No project of this scope can succeed without the closest possible partnership with all those involved," he said. "We've worked intensively with Downer Engineering Power, with BlueScope Lysaght and with the specialist transport companies to ensure success."
Ten of the electrical switchrooms are to be installed at Alcan's Gove alumina refinery as part of an upgrade which will almost double its output capacity to 3.8 million tonnes per annum by 2007.
The other switchroom was installed at the Gove plant's gas fired power station. For Custom Transportable Buildings, the Alcan contract is the latest success in a remarkable growth path which began just ten years ago.
"We began by manufacturing site sheds for construction sites, but found it hard to break into an already crowded market," Simon Griffiths, said.
"We switched to fabricating granny flats and manufactured homes, always with an emphasis on quality. Now we have positioned ourselves as a specialist in custom built buildings, tackling anything from school buildings to electrical switch rooms."
Mr Griffiths singles out the formation of strategic partnerships with key suppliers such as BlueScope Lysaght as a major reason for the huge growth which the company has seen over the past few years.
"It is vital to have confidence in the reliability of your suppliers and in the quality of their products when you are bidding for major contracts," he said.
"Names such as BlueScope Lysaght reassure potential customers, who know as we do, the depth of technical back-up which is available from such a long term industry leader. We have worked closely with BlueScope Lysaght and have found them to be genuinely passionate about assisting us to bring the project in on time and to budget."
Mr Griffiths pointed out that construction of the switchroom buildings involved 10,000 square metres of LYSAGHT SPANDEK® cladding in COLORBOND® Stainless steel for roofing and external walls, fixed to 28 kilometres of LYSAGHT® Zed and Cee purlins.
The interiors were lined with more than 24,000 square metres of LYSAGHT PANELRIB® cladding.
Taking on the Alcan contract with Downer Engineering Power signaled a major step in the growth of Custom Transportable Buildings and Simon Griffiths acknowledges that there was a lot at stake.
"You have to have total faith in your engineering ability, in the skills of your workforce, in the reliability of key suppliers and in the quality of the products you are using," he said.
"BlueScope Lysaght have gone to great lengths to assist our business. They've shown great commitment to us, especially through time critical situations. Knowing that we could rely on the quality of their products and that they appreciated the critical importance of on time delivery throughout the entire project allowed us to concentrate on other aspects of the job."
Custom Transportable Buildings' success is such that at its peak during the project it was operating around the clock with a skilled workforce of more than 150, supported by several teams of subcontractors and labour hire.
As its ability to compete on a global basis continues to grow, the company maintains an emphasis on keeping business in the Hunter region.
It also strongly supports the concept of Australian made in its component sourcing and has a steady uptake of local apprenticeship applicants.
The expertise it has gained through the successful completion of recent projects such as the Alcan switchrooms contract will enable it to take on even more complex contracts in future.
"I think it is fair to say that we are changing the general perception of transportable buildings," Simon Griffiths said.
"We are still using the steel building products from BlueScope Lysaght which helped to establish our reputation for quality when we were concentrating on manufactured homes and granny flats. The difference is that we have successfully scaled up our operations so that we can build much larger structures while retaining a standard of quality which even exceeds our customers' expectations."
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