Chevron delivering less local work under Barnett, not more

Western Australia’s steel fabrication is winning even less work from Chevron’s Wheatstone LNG project, that it has from its Gorgon project.

Monday's revelation that 150,000 tonnes of steel pipe would be manufactured offshore for Wheatstone means that Chevron has now awarded more than 300,000 tonnes of steel contracts, yet not one contract for steel manufacturing has been awarded to WA.

This is an even poorer performance than for its Gorgon project, which saw more than 90 per cent of the 300,000 tonnes of fabricated steel required for the project sourced offshore.

AMWU State Secretary Steve McCartney said the Wheatstone project highlighted the Barnett Government’s policy failures.

“Since our WA Jobs from WA Resources campaign started highlighting the increased offshoring of engineering and fabrication work by our big resources companies more than a year ago, Colin Barnett has promised a lot, but actually taken WA backwards,” he said.

“Not only is Chevron awarding less work to local steel fabricators, but the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) continues to confirm what we all know – WA manufacturing jobs are heading offshore.

“The ABS revealed that more than 2,000 manufacturing jobs were lost in the South West Metropolitan suburbs surrounding the Kwinana strip during 2011.

“The ABS has also revealed that the youth unemployment rate in and around Kwinana has increased from 21.7 per cent in January 2011 to 28.1 per cent in January 2012.  An even more shameful statistic is that the youth unemployment in and around Kwinana has almost doubled since the election of the Barnett Government.

Mr McCartney said the failure of the Barnett Government’s local content policy was a tragedy, because it impacted on real people.

“Every steel fabrication contract that heads offshore represents hundreds, if not thousands, of skilled jobs and apprenticeships that won’t be going to local kids.

“When future generations of Western Australians look back at the current resources boom, they are likely to judge the Barnett Government very harshly for allowing so many jobs and opportunities to go offshore, and doing little to secure a lasting economic benefit for Western Australians.”

The steel pipe contract will see JFE Steel supply UOE pipes for a 225 km pipeline to transport natural gas to Wheatstone’s LNG plant at Ashburton North.  Pipes with a 44-inch outer diameter will be shipped from January 2012.

This contract comes on top of the following additional offshored Wheatstone steel projects:
•    Offshore platform – 57,000 tonnes – awarded to Daewoo Shipbuilding, South Korea
•    Onshore LNG processing modules (outer battery limits) – 42,000 tonnes – awarded to Bohia Oil Marine Engineering and Supply, China
•    Onshore LNG processing modules (inner battery limits) – 60,000 tonnes – awarded to Kencana, Malaysia



Contact Person: Owen Whittle
Contact Email: news(at)

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