THE Brisbane family company behind construction of the Federal Government’s Nauru regional processing centre for refugees expects the “flat-pack” build to come in on schedule, despite a raft of challenging conditions.
Canstruct managing director Rory Murphy told The Courier-Mail that five accommodation buildings were completed in four months, all of which were now occupied, with another six in advanced construction alongside kitchen, recreation facilities, medical centre and administration areas.
To meet the intense schedule, Canstruct used its own Force 10 modular building designs out of Darra, which can survive cyclones, hurricanes, fire, flood and termites, as well as sub-contracts with other Australian manufacturers, including an unnamed firm out of Crestmead.
The Darra business, which has tripled its turnover since 2011 to $150 million, went from a standing start in Nauru in mid-December, to first accommodation building delivery on February 1, followed by another four before April 12.
Everything from water to power, wastewater treatment and potable water had to be brought in from offshore for the build, Mr Murphy said.
“Nauru doesn’t have its own port, so everything that was shipped there, including plant and equipment such as cranes, excavators and a host of ancillary equipment had to be brought in by boat.”
Of Canstruct’s 250-strong workforce, around 110 people were working in Nauru – just over half of whom were locals.
“The Force 10 solution is a flat-pack solution, the components are all put into a container and then the container is shipped to the remote area and then with local labour we erect our product,” he said.
“The Force 10 product goes all the way from luxury homes in Brisbane, to accommodation for staff in Christmas Island, to accommodation in Ok Tedi in PNG, to accommodation buildings in Nauru. We find it’s an economical product that can cross all of those diverse places and our point of difference is our ability to operate in remote areas.”
That was where the future lay for Canstruct, especially in the Pacific and Indian Ocean, he said.
“We see a great future for us in places like PNG. I think we have proved ourselves – that we’re able to operate in remote and demanding locations where others may fear to tread. If we were just competing in the metropolitan area or in the mining space, I think that the story would be gravely different because they are very challenging markets.”