Workers’ camp jobs boom

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Tom ZaunmayrPilbara News
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WA oil and gas giant Woodside has committed to a 15-year, $400 million investment to build a new 700-bed Bay Village workers’ accommodation facility in Karratha.

A consortium comprising DIF, Multiplex, Compass Group and Brookfield Financial has been nominated as the preferred tenderer to construct and manage Bay Village, on Balmoral Road, Nickol.

Construction is expected to start in February 2018 with an operational date mooted for February 2019.

The existing facility on site will be demolished.

Woodside Australia business president Brad Russell-Lane said the investment reaffirmed the company’s future in Karratha.

“We are pursuing an exciting pipeline of Pilbara development opportunities and we want to ensure that our workforce needs are met well into the future,” he said.

“We are committed to maintaining our strong residential workforce in Karratha, which is why we have commenced an upgrade of our North West Shelf Project housing. At the same time, we have selected a consortium to build, own and operate a state-of-the art transient worker accommodation facility, which will ensure workers’ health and well-being.”

Mr Russell-Lane said the two accommodation projects had a focus on local employment and procurement.

The announcement follows the demolition of the Gap Ridge camp after the former State Government refused to renew its lease in a push to have workers housed in town.

Multiplex will construct the facility, with Compass Group appointed to manage it for 15 years.

DIF is the project investor and manager and Brookfield Financial is the financial adviser.

Multiplex WA regional managing director Chris Palandri said the majority of employment and procurement would take place in WA.

“We have achieved more than 85 per cent local Pilbara employment on the Karratha Health Campus project and expect to exceed that figure for the construction of Woodside’s facility,” he said.

Once operational, servicing of the accommodation facility is expected to create about 40 jobs.

The consortium will progress primary approvals for lands and its development concept, and when these are satisfied, a formal contract will be awarded.

The contract value for the initial 15-year term is about $400 million, with additional 15-year extension options.

The Bay Village facility will be able to accommodate roughly half of Woodside’s peak demand for shutdowns, with contracting of beds from other villages to cover the rest.

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