Previous work on the Adelaide Oval Lights Dispute had fostered a strong relationship between the Managing Director of Asea Pacific and GBA Projects. In early 2005 Greg received a phone call from the MD of Asea Pacific, Rod Hearne. This phone call further defined what was to be a long lasting business relationship between the two businesses.

Bengalon Mine

Henry Walker Eltin JV had won the contract to construct the infrastructure for the Bengalon Mine in the far north coast region of East Kalimantan, Indonesia. The Mine was owned by Kaltim Prima Coal (KPC) which had already established a mine south of Bengalon, some 1-2 hour drive from their established camp to the construction site.

Greg was asked to go to the site and with a Contract Administrator, investigate and analyse the extensive variations and then to establish a workable schedule to recover lost time. A typical flight to the site involved a lengthy flight from Adelaide to Singapore, Singapore to Balikpapan and then by light aircraft, from Balikpapan to the KPC established Construction Camp. Light planes have always made Greg uneasy!

After the first few weeks the JV had established a basic wharf facility from which a port would be constructed to firstly bring in the equipment and then ship out the coal. The JV established a rudimentary construction camp from converted shipping containers. Greg still shudders at the "primitive conditions" in the middle of the jungle. What made it even worse was that the JV had yet to establish communications from the outside world.

Unfortunately during his first trip Greg, in his last communication to his wife Trish, said that he was sitting at a makeshift wharf at the old mine and was the only person waiting to be picked up and boated across to the new construction camp site. This would have reduced the travelling time from about 2 hours on a road that was treacherous to a simple boat ride.

What Greg actually meant was he was the only “Aussie” there and there were plenty of Indonesian people about.

When Greg failed to report back for nearly a week the family thought he had met with foul play. However as soon as communications was established by dish he was able to contact home much to everyone’s relief.

What Greg had found during this first week was that the project was poorly planned, and in constructing the haul road from the mine to the potential port they encountered a hill which did not live up to the geological original finding. And, as they attempted to cut the road, the hill slid into the valley below. Fortunately no one was injured but it did require some 3-4 million tonnes of soil to be shifted to put the road through.

Unfortunately there was no recovery from that sort of variation so an Extension of Time was submitted and ultimately accepted many months later. In the meantime Greg put together a partial recovery plan which required more machinery and working in multiple sites along the haul road.

Whyalla Blast Furnace Reline

With Shute Harbour work coming to an end with a successful EIS submission to the government, GBA Projects was engaged to provide support for the Blast Furnace Reline project at Whyalla. 

UKG had almost finished the Blast Furnace Reline project at Whyalla when problems arose. GBA Projects was tasked to go to site and with the Contract Administrator, Ken Savige, compile several sustainable variations with valid Extensions of Time. Despite completing the work satisfactorily however, the project eventually went into dispute in a long and protracted exercise.

PNG EOS JV

It was then that later in the year, no sooner had we completed work in Whyalla that we received a call from Worley Parsons (on the recommendation of Rod Hearne) to plan the construction work during the Feasibility Stage of the PNG EOS Project.

The project had originally consisted of an upgrade to the Kopi Port to land equipment required to construct a temporary haul road. This road had many bridges ranging in size from a few metres to 200 metres in order to span the many rivers and waterways along the journey to the Hides Process Plant in the Highlands of PNG.

Once the temporary roads were established, the JV then had to construct a pipeline from the gas fields to the Hides processing plant with another pipeline from Hides to Kopi. At that stage the route went across to the tip of York Peninsula to the LNG Gas Plant. As we know now the LNG Gas Plant was built in Port Moresby and the pipeline went from Kopi to Port Moresby instead.

Greg worked with a number of experts (including Rod Hearne) as to where to establish the construction camps along the temporary haul road. This was to determine the requirements of the project to ensure that there was a feasible programme that the JV could use to get approval for the project. Work on this project continued into 2006 when Greg then had to have back surgery, missing almost 5 months of work due to recovery.

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