Business bulletin - 21 April 2017

Darwin LNG expansion

LNG ship docked in harbour 

A feasibility study into the potential expansion of ConocoPhillips’ Darwin Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) will examine the viability of developing a second LNG train Wickham Point plant.

The Northern Territory (NT) has an abundance of natural resources, a large mining and energy industry, major construction and infrastructure projects.

A second train for the Darwin LNG facility would involve a multi-billion dollar investment and represent a new development in Australia’s off-shore gas industry.

The first train at Darwin LNG created around 2,500 jobs during construction and over 8,500 sub-contracts and purchase orders.

In operation it directly supports over 250 local jobs and on average around $100 million per year in supply and service opportunities.

The feasibility study is a significant investment towards the business case for potential expansion of Darwin LNG, potentially creating thousands of jobs during construction and operation. 

The study will explore different LNG process technologies and production rates to support a low cost development for a second LNG train.

ConocoPhillips Australia West Vice President External Affairs, Kayleen Ewin, said the feasibility study is the first step in finding new ways to commercialise the substantial offshore resources in Northern Australia.

"With Darwin LNG, five upstream joint ventures and the NT Government involved, it is a pioneering example of all of industry and government collaborating on solutions to unlock major investments," Ms Ewin said.

The NT Government is contributing around 40% of the feasibility study costs, with the remainder funded by ConocoPhillips and upstream resource owners in Evans Shoal, Caldita-Barossa, Poseidon, Cash Maple and Bonaparte LNG (Petrel Tern).

The NT Government will contribute $250,000 towards the study.

The study is scheduled to be complete by the end of this year.

Boost to Immediate Work Grants

Workman working on a building 

An extra $20 million will be injected into the Immediate Works Stimulus Package to keep work flowing for local businesses and tradies.

The extra funding will boost the $10 million Immediate Work Grants program to $30 million to meet the unprecedented demand for the scheme.

The Immediate Work Grants were introduced by the Northern Territory Government late last year to create jobs for local tradies and small businesses.

This community grants package original funds allocated were exhausted in just three months, and 100 organisations were approved for funding.

So far there has been over $14 million in work generated for local business, with an estimated economic impact of around $26.3 million.

The application process for the Immediate Work Grants Program are closed to new applications. The additional $20 million will be allocated to community organisations or not-for-profit groups who have already applied for funding to upgrade and repair their facilities.

The scheme awards grants of up to $100,000 to eligible not-for-profit and community organisations to engage local businesses to upgrade their property and facilities. In addition, the government matches up to a further $100,000 on a dollar-for-dollar basis for organisations wanting to do larger jobs.

Universal Site Monitoring (BISI)

Andrew Thurlow holding the newly developed Personal Safety Monitor 

Darwin based electronics company, Universal Site Monitoring have developed a lifesaving product for lone at risk workers in the resource and construction sectors.

The company have spent the past three years developing a Personal Safety Monitor (PSM). The PSM is a multifunctional safety device that provides direct communication with the wearer and real- time oversight for a range of conditions.

The device provides alerts of potentially dangerous risks to the wearer and remotely to allow the wellbeing of high-risk workers to be monitored in real time.

Universal Site Monitoring, Managing Director Andrew Thurlow said "The device was conceived and brought to early stage development here in our Winnellie Offices.

"Our Business Development Director, Emil Tastula came up with the idea. He has more than 30 years in the resource and construction industries and has had personal experience with fatalities of workmates.

"We have refined his original idea with global site trials and proof of concept prototyping as well as receiving input from operational and safety workers from all over the globe."

During development the PSM generated a lot of interest across a range of industries.

"Our largest interest has been in the heavy industrials sectors where near miss and fatalities are quite high," Mr Thurlow explains.

"We also have had serious discussion with other sectors, utilities, marine and construction, any anywhere there is a confined space entry or that gas is a potential hazard."

The project has been supported through two Business Innovation Support Initiative (BISI) vouchers totalling $25,000.

The BISI program assists Territory businesses to start research, undertake feasibility studies, build prototypes and develop trials.

"We had two particular problems that needed to be crystallised into projects and funded. Applying for a BISI voucher helped me to articulate the issues better and having the benefit of money flowing into the business can’t be underestimated."

"While the BISI grants weren’t a huge part of the millions of dollars we have spent, I one hundred percent appreciate the Northern Territory Governments support of innovative businesses in the struggle to bring ideas to light," Mr Thurlow said.

The Personal Safety Monitor is currently going through final compliance checks and is expected to be released to the market later this year.

Innovation grants, a competitive application process under the BISI program are now open and close on Monday 12 June 2017.

If you have a great idea and would like to find out more about the BISI program go to the Northern Territory Government website

OBM partner events

October Business Month 2017, event host opportunities available

Opportunities for partners are now open for businesses wanting to host an event in the 2017 October Business Month (OBM) program.

OBM is the premier event in the Northern Territory’s (NT) business calendar. With more than 7,000 people attending OBM in 2016, and more than 150 business events held across the NT, OBM offers excellent opportunities to promote your business by hosting an event.

This year OBM will provide the local business community the opportunity to learn about; innovation, territory business success stories, leadership, motivation, inspiration and social media marketing.

If your event is designed to provide information, practical skills or networking opportunities to people looking to start, operate or grow a small business then email business.dtbi@nt.gov.au​​

To register a partner event, please read the 2017 OBM event host prospectus then complete the on-line registration form by Friday 30 June 2017. Register early to secure your event and avoid disappointment.

Email business.dtbi@nt.gov.au or phone (08) 8999 7956 for more information or go to obm.nt.gov.au to register.

Celebrating NT Tourism excellence

Earth Sanctuary Eco Dome, a previous Brolga Award winner
Photo: Former Brolga Award winner, Earth Sanctuary

Nominations are now open to the Northern Territory’s (NT)  premier tourism industry awards, the Brolgas.

As the Territory’s official tourism awards program, the Brolga Northern Territory Tourism Awards recognise and encourage tourism businesses that strive for excellence in every area of their operation.

CEO for Department of Tourism and Culture, Alastair Shields said winning a Brolga Award is the industry’s highest accolade and the recipients represent the best products and services in the NT.

"The Brolga Awards encourage tourism business and operators to lift the bar and continue to deliver world-class attractions, facilities and experiences in the Territory.

"Each year the diversity and calibre of entrants has matched the vitality and growing professionalism of the NT’s tourism industry,” he said.

Winners of the 2017 Brolga Awards business categories will represent the NT at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in early 2018.

The Brolga Awards are open to tourism operators, accommodation providers, festivals and events and industry suppliers. There are 25 business and two individual categories in 2017 with each business category winner receiving a marketing package with Tourism NT valued at $10,000.

Tourism NT is continuing to offer a free mentoring program which includes workshops, online advice and a mock judging process and has launched a new online portal to assist businesses prepare and enter the awards.

Nominations are free and open now, closing Friday 21 July 2017. Entries close Thursday 7 September 2017. To enter or for more information go to brolgaawards.com.au

The 2017 Brolga Northern Territory Tourism Awards will be held on Saturday 11 November in Alice Springs.

Darwin Territory Business Centre is relocating to Darwin Corporate Park in Berrimah, business.nt.gov.au

Last updated: 12 October 2017