While Woodside Energy's Scarborough Energy Project in Western Australia's north west has made front page headlines of late due to social activism and environmental hurdles, behind the scenes local companies are benefiting from the expansion of its Pluto LNG facility.
Indigenous business Hicks Civil and Mining is one of those, seizing an opportunity to help expand the LNG facility on the Burrup Peninsula near Karratha, which will process approximately five million tonnes of gas a year from the Scarborough field, 375km offshore.
The Woodside-operated project involves the expansion of the Pluto LNG facility, with gas processed through a second facility called Pluto Train 2, which is being built by Woodside's major contractor Bechtel at the existing Pluto site.
Hicks was selected to deliver aggregate haulage works for the Pluto Train 2 batch plant, operated by Karratha-based Mobile Concreting Solutions via a contract with Bechtel.
That partnership has helped support a new haulage service within Hicks Civil and Mining, with the purchase of its first triple road train that will deliver aggregate haulage works for Pluto Train 2.
Now run by four founding family members, Hicks has gone from strength to strength since owner Peter Hicks, a Ngarluma man born and raised in the Pilbara, established the Indigenous business in 2010, with a focus on staged growth and long-term success after executing major earthworks and civil contracts for the resources industry the past decade.
Mr Hicks said securing the large-scale Pluto Train 2 contract and development of a new haulage arm for the business was testament to the resources industry providing economic empowerment opportunities for Indigenous businesses in the sector.
"It is truly rewarding when businesses can come together and work harmoniously to bring about mutually beneficial outcomes," he said.
"We celebrated this award with our teams, knowing this is just the beginning of something great."
The Scarborough Energy Project is expected to create more than 3000 jobs in the construction phase, and sustain almost 600 jobs during operation.
So far, more than 250 WA businesses, including 60 in Karratha, have been engaged to work on the Pluto Train 2 project, with 30 contracts awarded to local Indigenous businesses.
Bechtel Pluto Train 2 site manager Terry Klowss said the Hicks partnership was an example of the opportunities local and regional First Nations people and businesses could yield from the project.
"We are proud of the lasting positive legacy and contributions this project is making in providing avenues for local businesses to profit," he said.
Woodside Pluto Train 2 project manager Tom Feutrill said the company was helping First Nations businesses expand their capabilities.
"It's great to have Hicks Civil and Mining performing this important scope for the project with the new triple road train," he said.