Former apprentices hit the big league

By
Tuesday, 28 October, 2003


A gamble by four ex-Whyalla steelworks apprentices to launch their own business has paid off handsomely with their company on target for a $68 million turnover in 2004.

Adelaide-based Broadspectrum Australia has entered the international big league in instrumentation, electrical and mechanical services contracting by winning work on some of the world's largest oil and gas projects.

In its latest coup, the company has overcome strong global competition to secure a $20 million plus contract on the $2 billion Bayu Undan oil and gas platforms being constructed by ConocoPhillips in the Timor Sea.

Director John Begley says Broadspectrum will have at least 70 technical personnel based on the platforms, bringing them through to the operational phase over the next two years.

"We were involved in the original commissioning of equipment for the rigs during their initial construction in Singapore and South Korea. To follow this by securing the major work on the platforms is very significant," he said.

Broadspectrum was established 11 years ago by its four directors, Harald Schaaf, Ian Hutchison, Rob Edwards and Mr Begley, who worked together as instrumentation and engineering apprentices at the steelworks in their home city of Whyalla.

The company has experienced good growth during the past seven years, with annual turnover increasing from less than $1 million to $42 million in 2003.

Broadspectrum now has ten offices in Australia and overseas, employing more than 450 people.

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