A Valuable Conference

By the end of 1989 GBA Projects had been involved in numerous South Australian projects providing detailed planning, scheduling and controls using a wide variety of planning packages. Company founder Greg Betros had been so heavily involved in the introduction of PROJECT/2 and QwikNet software to businesses that in 1989 he was appointed “Conveyor” of the 1989 PSDI Australia User Group Conference.

PSDI Newsletter, June 1989

By the end of the 1980’s, extension of time claims were readily proved (or disproved) in a more efficient manner using time impact analysis underpinned by computerised modelling. Prior to this the impacted as-planned and impacted as-built analyses were the preferred methods of assessing time delays as computing power had not yet emerged. So it was natural that attendees at the 1989 conference subsequently walked away with a better understanding of how scheduling software can be used to update project schedules periodically and how they can reduce the costs of lengthy construction delay disputes.

The 1989 conference helped the company to grow its network within the industry and by the end of 1989 GBA Projects had taken on 14 new clients and began to deliver its own suite of training courses for products such as QwikNet and Open Plan.

The company relocated to 23 King William Road and by the end of the year had 7 staff employed to deliver services to these South Australian projects:

  • 1 Anzac Highway
  • Adelaide Entertainment Centre
  • Burnside Hospital Upgrade
  • Park Royal Hotel, Adelaide
  • Governor Hindmarsh Centre
  • Chesser House
  • Ashford Hospital Redevelopment
  • Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Building
  • Pier Hotel (Stamford Grand)
  • Whyatt Street Carpark
  • Roper Street Carpark
  • Yatala Prison Upgrade
  • Ansett Terminal
  • Flinders Medical Centre Upgrade
  • Delfin Island Apartments Development
  • Island Apartments
  • Festival Theatre (Plaza) Carpark
  • Myer Centre

This list does not include the varying shutdown projects, interstate projects and four arbitrations that were serviced in the same year.

The Santos Relationship

It was in 1985 that Greg Betros, still employed by Global Engineering at the time, provided Santos with planning and scheduling support for their first outage of the Port Bonython Plant in Whyalla, South Australia. For this outage PSDI’s PROJECT/2 planning package was used to plan and control the work. Using the software the project was planned in hours and minutes to ensure tight control over execution. The success of this turnaround led to the introduction of QwikNet to Santos in 1987 for the execution of another outage at Port Bonython as well as the Crude Stabilisation Plant at Santos’ Moomba Plant.

Port Bonython in 1989The June 1989 edition of PSDI’s newsletter outlines the additional discussions from the conference on the emerging use of scheduling software for plant turnarounds and shutdowns. The newsletter features an article covering Santos’ Port Bonython operations at the time.

It was well recognised by this stage that for any business executing a turnaround, plant downtime means a loss of revenue and therefore accurate planning and monitoring of the works is critical to ensuring successful return to operations. The 1989 conference showcased several key speakers and how they used software such as QwikNet and PROJECT/2 packages to manage shutdown/turnaround operations.

Through the introduction of new software and successful delivery of projects at Santos, GBA Projects was able to develop a reputation for successful delivery. The relationship that formed between the two South Australian companies has lasted for over 30 years. GBA Projects has planned, scheduled and controlled over 400 projects for Santos since 1987.

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