Mine engineering firm goes under, 120 people made redundant

A Wollongong-based engineering firm that services the mining industry has been forced to shut its doors, affecting 120 jobs.

Southern Engineering Services was placed into voluntary administration two weeks ago and hopes by administrator McGrathNicol to keep the business open until a buyer was found were dashed when money ran out.

The Illawarra Mercury reported workers were shocked when they received a call last Sunday night informing them of the closure.

"You wouldn't treat your worst enemy the way they put them off," one man said.

"This was originally a family-owned business and there were a lot of families built into the business."

SES was a 64-year old company that performed a wide range of work in the mining industry.

It has blamed the company’s demise on the downturn in the coal mining industry.

A spokesman for administrator McGrathNicol said it had worked hard to keep the company trading.

"Last week and through the weekend they were working round the clock to shore up funding for the business to keep it going, and they couldn't do that," he said.

"There was not enough money left to pay for one day's work on Monday. So that meant they had to call a number of staff on Sunday night and say the job's redundant."

SES assets are still up for sale, with the company having operations in Newcastle, Queensland and Perth.

The company joins a host of other manufacturing and industrial firms which have been forced to shut up shop in the Illawarra region.

After producing coke for more than 100 years, Corrimal Cokeworks closed its doors this year.

The Illawarra Coke Company (ICC) said that due to reduced demand, the plant had no option but to shut down.

The decision came after the company closed its Coalcliff Cokeworks in early 2013. 

While Copper manufacturer MM Kembla also scaled back its operations last year in a move that affected 70 jobs.

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