April 20, 2004

Employment boost for Pinjarra as local business wins $1 million Alcoa contract

Employment opportunities in Pinjarra will be boosted following the announcement that Pinjarra Engineering has been awarded the first contract for the $440 million Pinjarra Refinery Efficiency Upgrade.

Pinjarra Engineering has been awarded a $1 million dollar contract to supply new and reconditioned valves for the expanded production process at the Pinjarra refinery.
Brad Cooper, Managing Director of Pinjarra Engineering said that the company was delighted to win the contract and it would result in the creation of five new positions at the company of which Mr Cooper aims to select from the local community.
Mr Cooper was met by Alcoa procurement representatives to sign the final agreement assigning Pinjarra Engineering a $1 million contract to supply new valves, and refurbish worn valves for the Efficiency Upgrade.
“The winning of this contract highlights the fact that Alcoa’s ‘local content’ policy for the Efficiency Upgrade will help to provide the much needed support Pinjarra needs for it’s local businesses.
“I believe Alcoa’s goal to buy local will deliver positive economic and social benefits for the Pinjarra area.  I attended the Murray Districts Business Association procurement briefing where Alcoa provided a presentation on their tendering system and Alcoa’s local content policy.  It was a great opportunity for local businesses to get an insight into Alcoa’s business practices,” he said.
David Lunn, Alcoa’s Procurement Manager for the Efficiency Upgrade said that Alcoa was committed to implementing its local content policy.
“Pinjarra Engineering is an excellent example of how a local business can take advantage of Alcoa’s local content policy and the large number of business opportunities that are being created through the Pinjarra Efficiency Upgrade.
“Alcoa local content policy is based on the principle of endeavouring to add value to the local economy through the use of local suppliers, by helping local suppliers do business with Alcoa, and by encouraging suppliers to employ local labour,” he said.
Pinjarra Engineering was also awarded a smaller contract of $14,500 to fabricate safety barriers for the construction area whilst the Efficiency Upgrade is being completed. 
Pinjarra Engineering was founded in 1987 initially to refurbish small specialist valves used in the alumina refining industry which Mr Cooper noticed were being discarded while working at Alcoa’s Pinjarra Refinery.
“I saw huge potential to recycle and reduce landfill by refurbishing the old discarded valves,” said Mr Cooper.
After its small beginnings with Mr Cooper refurbishing the valves on his own, the company now employs 27 people in its 2000 square metre workshop facility and reconditions in excess of 4000 valves per year.
Mr Cooper established Pinjarra Engineering after completing his apprenticeship and working at Harvey Meat Works as a fitter and machinist for 11 years, and later working in Central Maintenance at Alcoa’s Pinjarra Refinery for 18 months.
Mr Cooper believes his apprenticeship working in an isolated area taught him to repair damaged goods rather than simply purchase new goods to replace them, and he believes this has helped him to get his company to where it is today.
To register your business interest to supply for the Pinjarra Efficiency Upgrade, go to www.icnwa.org.au.  More information on the Upgrade can also be found at Alcoa’s website at http://pinjarraupgrade.alcoa.com.au.