WA unions have revealed that Chevron outsourced the majority of its engineering and fabrication for its $29 billion Wheatstone LNG development to overseas companies before the final investment decision was even made, cutting local suppliers out of the equation.
Manufacturing tenders sent overseas are as follows:
• LNG Train Refrigeration Compressors & Gas Turbines – Ohio USA & Florence, Italy
• Nitrogen Generators – Norway
• Offshore Platform (57,000 tons) – Daewoo Shipbuilding, South Korea
• Utility Vessels, Positive Displacement Pumps, Tanks, Drums, Light Wall Pressure Vessels – South Korea
• Air Compressor and Dryer – Malaysia
• Sea Water Filters – USA
• Process Electrical Heater – Singapore
• Positive Displacement Pumps – Italy
• Firewater Pumps – Norway
Chevron is claiming the LNG development, at Onslow in WA, will create 6,500 jobs for Australian workers in its first six years along, and create $17 billion of business for the economy over the project’s life.
Unions and workers are sceptical of these claims, especially since uncovering the list of manufacturing contracts already promised to foreign companies.
Workers unions are blaming the WA government for allowing this to happen, claiming the outsourcing is ‘alarming’, even for a development this size.
“This is shameful, but typical of a Government that is not in control of the State’s resources,” said UnionsWA secretary, Simone McGurk.
The WA premier Colin Barnett reportedly wasn’t aware of the amount of outsourcing Chevron was planning for the development.
“We know that most of the upfront work is being done in Italy, Norway, the US and Korea, so why doesn’t he?” said McGurk.
“Mr Barnett needs to get serious about winning local manufacturing jobs from the Wheatstone Project. He needs to put politics aside and support joint union and industry efforts to provide more skilled jobs and opportunities for local people,” said AMWU State Secretary Steve McCartney.
“After all it’s our gas and it should be our jobs.”
The news follows WA unions pushing the WA government to put content quotas on major resources projects in the area to ensure a minimum amount of business goes to local suppliers.
The idea was vetoed by the WTO, which advised WA not to proceed because it would be in breach of Australia’s obligations under international treaties, and could trigger trade action from other countries.