The Australian boss of GE, Steve Sargent, believes this country`s economy is poised for several decades of prosperity on the back of †the mining and energy sector`s “almost unstoppable”Ě drivers and our near neighbours in Asia continue expanding their urban growth as many millions move from the country to the city every year. Such expansion is good news for the Australian mining sector.
GE have expanded their Australian operations over the past 9 years by investing in our mining and energy areas. Recent announcements of a $600m contract with Chevron to service equipments for the giant $43 billion Gorgon LNG project in WA, are testament to their faith in our healthy economy and future prospects.
A †key player in the LNG industry, GE also has equipment contracts with all of the big LNG projects that are under construction, including Inpex’s Ichthys venture in Darwin, Shell’s Inpex floating development and the big coal-seam gas projects in Queensland.
Oil and gas jobs to grow to 600
GE’s oil and gas workforce is expected to grow from 400 to 600 by the end of the decade to support the new contracts.
Despite the recent trend of falling commodity prices and slowing Chinese demand, Sargent expects mining to be the next major driver of growth for GE in Australia.
In May, GE announced its biggest Australian acquisition to date through the $US700m takeover of underground mining equipment company, Industrea.
They have built a $100m technology and training centre in Perth’s southern suburbs to train local workers for major resources projects.
Long-term operational mining jobs
Sargent says GE won’t need to import workers to fill mine jobs because it will be creating long-term operational jobs rather than temporary construction labour.
“It makes sense to source that locally,” he says.
“Despite all the negative rhetoric in the media, you don’t want to bring in a whole bunch of permanent labour [mining and construction] that you don’t have work for in five or 10 years from now.”