BHP launch coal remote operations centre

BHP has launched an integrated remote operations centre (IROC) in Brisbane for its coal business.

The miner aims to replicate the success it had with its IROC in Perth, which controls operations right across the Pilbara, covering more than 1500 kilometres of rail, stockyards, and two separate port facilities.

Working with its joint venture partners Mitsubishi and Mitsui, the miner plans to provide real time coverage of its seven BMA mines in the Bowen Basin and the Hay Point Coal Terminal near Mackay, as well as its two BMC coal mines in the Bowen, and the Mt Arthur coal mine in the Hunter Valley.

According to BHP, the IROC will be a new, state-of-the-art facility located in Brisbane that will deliver an advanced control room which will operate continually, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“This is a very important step on our innovation and productivity journey across our coal assets and will mean we can more effectively replicate our best practices at each and every site,” BMA said in an official statement.

“The IROC will ensure we can optimise our production supply chain at every point in the cycle and deliver substantial, sustainable savings for our business, providing us with a significant competitive edge.”

When fully operational, the remote control operations centre will employ around 200 workers across a range of different roles, most of whom will be drawn directly from existing operations.

However the implementation of the new centre will affect workers on site, with BHP stating, “We understand that this type of innovative change to the way we operate can also bring uncertainty and displacement for some people, and we will be working closely with our employees to communicate regularly with them through this process.”

BHP has been contacted for further comment on how many jobs may be lost, and which roles will be most affected.

The miner has launched videos on Youtube to recruit controllers for the centre.

 

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