Apr 19, 2017

Regional innovation showcased at trade and investment strategy launch

Regional innovation showcased at trade and investment strategy launch Treasurer Curtis Pitt (centre) with Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher and Berg Engineering CEO Derek Berg at the launch event.

A Gladstone engineering firm behind the innovative redesign of an essential piece of mining equipment has been held up as an example of the sort of business the State Government will be backing through its $35 million Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy.

At the regional launch of the new Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022 in Gladstone today, Treasurer Curtis Pitt said Berg Engineering was proof that regional Queensland businesses could compete on the international stage and outclass the competition.

“Berg Engineering is a great example of a Queensland business innovating to succeed globally,” Mr Pitt said. 

“Queensland has more METS (mining equipment, technology and services) companies than any other Australian state, and this is a competitive strength that the Palaszczuk Government wants to develop as part of our new Trade Strategy and build on the industry’s potential well into the future.

“Not only is Berg Engineering already operating in markets like PNG, New Caledonia and Indonesia, they are staying ahead of the game by innovating against international benchmarks.

“This kind of thinking is vital for Queensland’s economic growth, and that’s why the new $35 million Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy includes funding to encourage innovation and build export capability in Queensland businesses.”

Berg works with mining, utilities, power generation and oil and gas operators to manage and optimise the performance of major assets like large-capacity pumps and other heavy processing equipment.

Berg Engineering chief executive officer Derek Berg said tight commodity markets meant mining operators needed to maximise productivity and efficiencies, particularly through better asset performance and management.

“We noticed that several of our clients had issues with a particular, very common agitation arrangement, so we took the initiative to develop and patent an alternative, which our tests suggest will last at least twice as long as the current market leader,” Mr Berg said.

“We started trialling the new design at a client’s offshore mining project 10 months ago, with very pleasing results.

“We believe our new blade design and coating could dramatically increase agitation efficiency, which will drive down costs and ultimately lead to more investment and better profit margins for Australian and offshore commodities operators.

“Developing high-end technology for a global market is a very long road.

“The most important things are close relationships with clients, suppliers and like-minded businesses who want to bring industry-leading products to market.

“Our local TIQ trade adviser and the trade advisers in overseas markets have been able to help us leverage our solutions by introducing us to the right people.”