Millions of dollars to potentially boost Gladstone's economy at GEA Major Industry Conference

OVER 180 delegates from around Australia learnt first-hand about more than $3.5B of tenders available within the central Queensland supply chain at the Gladstone Engineering Alliance Major Industry Conference, presented by Aestec Services, last week.

The 2018 event reflected a broad view of opportunities within the central Queensland resource and industrial sector which identified some up and coming breakthrough projects, explored diversification for the Region and placed the onus back on the supply chain to think strategically, innovatively and of the big picture.

GEA Acting Chief Executive Officer Julie Gelder said the conference is highly regarded as the key forum for current and future work opportunities with 2018 marking the 15th year of the industry event.

“The core focus of the GEA Major Industry Conference was to facilitate a forum which allowed key decision makers who represent the central Queensland supply chain to have access to up and coming project and tender information from the top of the chain in terms of company CEO’s and managers,” Ms Gelder said.

“The conference diversified in 2018 to include a number of renewable energy projects within the resource and construction industry like Renew Estates $400M Rodds Bay Solar Farm and Acciona Energy Australia’s Aldoga Solar Farm. 

"The project that had huge interest on the day was Australian Future Energy’s above ground coal gasification production facility earmarked for Gladstone’s State Development Land  out at Aldoga.  The project is a first of its kind for Australia and is gaining a lot of support throughout Gladstone and is one to watch.”

Renew Estate Director Simon Currie said the GEA Major Industry Conference was an eye opener for the company with strong interest from many of the attending delegates.

“The calibre, quality and professionalism of the conference surpassed many conferences that I’ve attended and the GEA really need to be commended for their efforts,” Mr Currie said.

Speaking at the conference on Thursday, Mr Currie outlined the company's vision to transform energy production in the Port City. With investigations under way into the feasibility of wind power in Gladstone and talks for a hydrogen and ammonia plant, Mr Currie said Gladstone was their sole focus in Queensland.

"We're not focusing on anywhere else in Queensland for Renew Estate projects going forward," he said.

"We see that as the right decision for us, with the local power demand and more so the fact that there's local talent and the local appetite for these projects.”

The conference, hosted and emceed by the Minerals Council of Australia was also attended by Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane, Department of Defence First Assistant Secretary of  Infrastructure Chris Birrer, CS Energy’s Executive General Manager Mr Colin Duck, and Gladstone Ports Corporation's Chief Executive Officer Peter O’Sullivan.

Ms Gelder said the 2018 conference represented the region’s major industries, infrastructure providers, planners and leaders in the mineral processing, mining and construction industry.

“The conference provided a forum for proponents to showcase their project quantum, timeline and contacts and allowed delegates to obtain vital information about each individual project which will ultimately add value to the central Queensland supply chain with the possibility to pump millions of dollars into the region’s economy ,” she said.

Pictures: Guest speaker and MC Minerals Council of Australia Director, Climate Change and Energy Patrick Gibbons at Thursday's 2018 GEA Major Industry Conference.

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