Indo-Pacific Electrical Projects & Skills Development Partnerships

Indo-Pacific Electrical Projects & Skills Development Partnerships

2 July 2020

The positive impact CEQ has had in the Australian Mining and Infrastructure sector has resulted in  growth and expansion in the Indo-Pacific region. 

It all began six years ago in Papua New Guinea with the development of APEC Haus which has become an elaborate conference facility built on reclaimed land in Port Moresby’s central business district (Travel Advisory, 2020).

The structure was handed to the Tourism Promotion Authority and converted into a museum which has since supported Papua New Guinea’s tourism efforts.

 

APEC Haus, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

 

Diving headfirst into unchartered territory, CEQ was challenged by various barriers in their pursuit of achieving one goal: The goal to engage and upskill Papua New Guinean locals and create job opportunity within Papua New Guinea. 

Despite experiencing countless roadblocks with respect to culture, skills and language, CEQ navigated through hurdles in an open-minded and solution focussed manner. Out of this grew a core crew of Papua New Guinean nationals who proved themselves capable and competent tradesmen, contributing significantly to the success of the project’s delivery.  

From here, the POM Power Station was completed in conjunction with Clough Limited. CEQ provided labour services as part of the Clough-Wartsila joint venture that equipped the Port Moresby Power grid with a 58MW base load power to further support the 66KV power line and substation network. This has further helped bolster both industrial and economic development in Papua New Guinea. 

 

POM Power Station, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

 

Fast forward to 2020, the re-development of Angau Memorial General Hospital ,which is currently in production, is becoming a huge success as it is being transformed into the second-largest hospital in the country. This project falls under the Australia and Papua New Guinea governments investment for improved Health Services. Through this initiative,  the facility has been upgraded to a level six hospital which will have the capability to offer better resources for research and medical intelligence. 

 

Angau Memorial General Hospital, Lae, Papua New Guinea

 

The Asia-Pacific region has over 4.6 billion people and is home to almost 60% of the world’s population (Worldometers, 2020). Compared to other regions it has a larger population with greater economic growth, yet also has wide socioeconomic disparities. . Thankfully, through the influence of the Australian Government, APTC and CEQ, job opportunities for locals in Papua New Guinea are on the rise due to the upskilling of tradesmen through successful completion of  Australian recognised qualifications.

With Electrical labour in the Mining sector quickly becoming a core business offering both in Australia and abroad, CEQ was nominated for the Sag Ball Feeder Mill in the province of Lihir, Papua New Guinea.  The company was responsible for both the electrical contracting and instrumentation work on the Semi-Autogenous Grinding Mill’s which enabled a consistent ball charge.  

Whilst maximising the grinding circuit, implementation of Newcrest’s Safety & Sustainability practices ensured safer and smoother workplace practices through improved innovation, technology and operating performance.  This consequently increased efficiency and operational productivity through reduced risk and manual handling labour. 

 The beauty of this specific Mining project was the on-boarding and engagement of national electrical employees for the work in the region – another step forward in the direction of nurturing economic growth and prosperity within the Indo-Pacific region. 

 

Off-Shore Locals Taking Care Of Business

 

 

Powering up with APTC to train and upskill locals not only to a pacific level but to an Australian recognised level is the top priority for CEQ. With an overarching vision to contribute to economic improvement through job opportunity and continual success in the Mining and Infrastructure sectors, the company is heading up a team of national PNG locals to take the lead off-shore. 

CEQ’ Project Manager, Isaac Hampson states, “having reliable workers to grow the business keeps us at the forefront of what future endeavours we are capable of embarking upon in New Guinea” (Hampson, 2020). 

Mr. Hampson has been instrumental in the growth of Papua New Guinea’s electrical contractor team and has been part of the initiative for the past four years. Isaac has developed fundamental relationships with the locals and has watched how communities within Papua New Guinea have been uplifted and strengthened as a result of CEQ’s positive social impact. 

“It excites me because I get to see unskilled labour nationals grow. I have watched as they have built upon their lives for their families and their communities. I have seen first-hand how our expats who have travelled for work in New Guinea, have grown as people as well” (Hampson, 2020).

With each intake, CEQ are looking to train and certify as many Papua New Guinean nationals as possible, providing a helping hand to reach benchmarks and develop them to a level that is recognised in Australia. The idea is to not only to upskill them for greater career endeavours within Papua New Guinea, but provide them with the freedom to take their families anywhere within the Indo-Pacific region and Australasia. 

 

 

With the help of the APTC, and the determination to make a difference, CEQ have established a solid and reliable core crew in Papua New Guinea. This core team of locals are integral to CEQ’s  success in the region, and have proven their value to the company’s projects, in both execution of project delivery, as well as demonstrating the commitment required for producing a quality product.

With the help of the Australian Pacific Technical Coalition, CEQ have already kicked off the first intake this year to help tradesmen complete a Certificate 3 in Electrotechnology through TAFE Queensland.

 

The Expat Experience 

 

For expats, the experience to travel and work in developing countries, under the CEQ umbrella, is invaluable. Naturally, there are various points of difference when working in developing countries  and the need for adaptability is essential. 

Though living conditions are different and language barriers can be tricky to navigate, the rewards however always outweigh the challenges.  With patience and understanding, the team have always overcome obstacles together. 

 

 

Spirit & Community 

 

As international business partnerships have strengthened, amazing team mate relationships have been formed. There is a comradery on-field that is like no other. Workmen from all different walks of life, coming together in support of one another whilst working towards achieving a common goal.

Off the field, CEQ continue to lead and demonstrate what it means to be a colleague and friend. When on Papua New Guinean soil, the group partake in initiatives such as charity drives to engage with one another to create community spirit and promote togetherness. 

Hampson explains, “a few years ago, while we were in PNG,  there was a big fire and twenty- one houses burned down. This fire directly impacted one of our workers. So, the crew went down and re-wired his house” (Hampson, 2020).

Everyone understands what it means to be part of the CEQ family. To treat people as equals and lend a helping hand whenever and wherever needed. 

 

CEQ Plays for Motor Neurone Disease in Support of PNG Rugby League Representative

 

Future 

In light of the success experienced in Papua New Guinea over the past six years in both the Mining and Infrastructure sector, CEQ are now starting to branch out with projects forecasted in Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands.

As Indo-Pacific locals continue to be upskilled through CEQ, it is likely they too will step-up into new roles that cover Safety, Logistics and Procurement throughout the greater pacific region. 

Evidently, the future looks bright for both CEQ and tradesmen in Australia and the Indo-Pacific region. 

“It’s been a great journey and it’s just the beginning” 

-Isaac Hampson, CEQ PNG Project Manager 

 

 

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