By James Lynch – Business Development Consultant.

Consistent delivery of LNG exports from Curtis Island continue to cement the region as a key contributor to Australian and global LNG production. The Gladstone region has built an envious reputation as both a credible and dependable energy supplier to the world.

Projects and investment in the Gladstone area are significant. There’s been (and there continues to be) large scale investment and operational output powering local industry and activity and making a huge contribution to Australia’s GDP.

It’s an exciting time to be part of the industry.

I’ve worked in LNG for over 17 years, and have enjoyed the privilege of contributing to 3 Australian Mega Projects, both onshore and offshore from construction, through commissioning and start-up and into stable operations.

Based in Queensland, I’m working with AusGroup as it expands its footprint and offerings here. It’s a fabulous opportunity for me to leverage my LNG experience and to work on the “other side of the fence” as a service provider.

Working at AusGroup is a natural progression for my career, and it’s exciting to be applying my experience in my home town with a new team. I am very much looking forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.

There are many factors that drew me to AusGroup, including:

Market-leading services and solutions

AusGroup has a strong reputation in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, where it’s played an important role in the construction, commissioning and maintenance of critical energy assets and infrastructure.

It’s built this reputation through a long history of providing reliable, safely-delivered solutions for its clients.

The importance of these qualities is now more important than ever.

LNG prices are around 500% higher than they were twelve months ago. Price increases have brought the need for well-planned and managed shutdown execution processes further into sharp focus. Unforeseen delays, unexpected issues and extended shutdown times hit the bottom line of energy operators, and the revenue impacts when production is stalled have grown. The impact (financial and otherwise) of mistakes and delays have been magnified.

Put another way, the preservation of “up-time” of critical production infrastructure is an imperative, and AusGroup’s approach to maintenance activities including shutdowns minimises risk.

Our powerful estimation and tracking tools provide valuable insights to us and to our clients at all stages of maintenance projects. We have a culture of improvement, and there’s much that will be taken from our West Coast experience which we are now applying to new projects and new activities here in Queensland. Local industry will benefit from what’s been applied and learned before.

I see this as a genuine advantage of the AusGroup approach. Particularly given the financial imperatives associated with on-time, no-surprises maintenance in the LNG industry right now, our clients will recognise and value our approach to service delivery.

There’s an appetite for excellence, innovation and assured solutions because there’s more at stake than ever before, and at AusGroup we are well-placed to meet and exceed client expectations.

A partnership approach with clients

I mentioned that our operational tools bring value to both us and to our clients. That’s because we have an approach to working which includes our clients as part of the team.

This is an aspect of the AusGroup approach that really appeals to me.

I know how a “one-team” mentality powers customer service, and for activities which involve time-critical maintenance of key infrastructure this approach really helps to manage and reduce project risk. It results in safer delivery of projects, reduces uncertainty and cost, and results in a better quality deliverable.

A focus on teamwork

AusGroup has a strong team of people and an approachable, inclusive leadership team. For employees and clients, there is ready access to the executive team who take an on-the-ground interest in day to day business activities. I’ve seen and experienced this already, and I’m looking forward to the comradery and the learning opportunities that this will bring.

For clients too, the access to the AusGroup leadership team is a real point of difference and selling point. It’s a customer focused organisation from the ground up and that brings real opportunity for collaboration, consultation and improvement.

A culture of inclusion

I have been struck by AusGroup’s culture of diversity and its recognition of the social license in which it operates.

There are genuine efforts to improve outcomes through formal and informal reconciliation activities which go beyond just words. Its Reconciliation Action Plan, for example, establishes a framework to build stronger relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to reduce gaps in living standards and to promote opportunity.

Promoting diversity in all forms is important to me for many reasons, and I strongly believe that the most successful organisations have a makeup and diversity that is similar to the environment in which they operate. As a father of two teenage daughters I have a personal reason to be part of a workplace and a community that breaks down barriers and boundaries.

For these reasons in particular I am very much looking forward to working with AusGroup in Queensland, and I can see exciting opportunities ahead for the business, its clients, and the local community.

For an organisation of its size it is punching above its weight, and I’m thrilled to be playing a role as the AusGroup story unfolds here.