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News

Australia has been upgraded to Category B of the Council of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

Australia was supported in the election by 143 of the 162 Member States present.

It has been on the IMO Council for almost 50 years and is the first country,along with the United Arab Emirates, to replace an incumbent from Category B.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester said this better reflected Australia's status as one of the states with the largest interest in international seaborne trade.

“This election reaffirms Australia's contribution to the development and implementation of international standards on maritime safety, security and pollution prevention,” Mr Chester said.

“Through our role on the IMO Council, the Australian Government will do our part to ensure international shipping is safe, reliable and efficient, and protects the marine environment so that all countries can share the benefits of a strong international shipping sector.

“Australia will continue our search and rescue operations in an area that covers one-tenth of the earth's surface.”

IMO upgrade for Australia
Electricity produced from the Kidston Solar Stage 1 Project is now being transmitted into the National Electricity Market.

Genex Power announced today that, following successful transformer energisation of the project in late November, it had now generated its first revenue.

“The project has now transitioned from being technically operational to commercially active. This ground-breaking milestone marks the first earnings for the project and for Genex as a company," managing director Michael Addison said.

"This transition from a development company to generating operational cash flows will serve to strengthen our financial position as we seek to reach financial close for our Kidston Stage Two Projects in 2018.”

The solar farm is located 270km north-west of Townsville at the former Kidston gold mine site.

As commissioning is completed over the coming months, electricity generation will be ramped up to full capacity.

The Kidston 50MW PV Solar Project is the first phase in the proposed $580 million Kidston Renewable Energy Hub, which will also include the 250MW Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project (K2-Hydro), and the co-located 270MW solar PV Project (K2-Solar).

Kidston Stage 1 feeding the network
A $12 million breakwater repair program is planned at Port of Mackay after studies revealed worse damage from Tropical Cyclone (TC) Debbie than previously thought.

North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP) general manager engineering and development Rochelle Macdonald said initial assessments indicated the breakwaters had escaped the cyclone with minimal damage.

“Further investigations, including 3D laser scanning, revealed the damage was worse than first thought,” Dr Macdonald said.

“The Southern Breakwater in particular has suffered damage to the slope facing the sea."

While the safety of the breakwaters was not in question, repairs were essential to ensure their integrity for future cyclone seasons, she said.

Dr Macdonald said traffic would be unable to access the Southern Breakwater during the repairs.

“Works are due to start in January. Our target is to have the repairs completed by the end of 2018,” she said.

“We know how much the breakwater means to the people of Mackay. It’s where so many people come to enjoy a walk, cycle or drive and take in the magnificent views.

“That’s why NQBP will work with the successful tenderers to ensure the breakwater remains open to pedestrians and cyclists during the repairs."

The project includes the supply and placement of 80,000 to 90,000 tonnes of rock, with the tender process to be finalised in the
coming weeks.

Breakwater works to start in January
Arrow Energy has today signed off on one of the largest gas supply deals on Australia’s east coast, expected to drive the creation of 1000 jobs.

The 27-year deal between Arrow and the Shell-operated QCLNG joint venture, will commercialise the majority of Arrow’s gas reserves in the Surat Basin – about 5 trillion cubic feet (TCF).

Arrow Energy chief executive officer Qian Mingyang said the company’s equal shareholders, PetroChina and Shell, had approved Arrow’s execution of a binding Gas Sales Agreement (GSA) following 18 months of detailed work on upstream collaboration agreements.

“The deal offers long-awaited infrastructure collaboration in the natural gas industry, creating better cost efficiencies and enabling us to bring this gas to market in a challenging investment climate,” Mr Qian said.

“Collaboration between the parties will see use of existing QGC-operated infrastructure such as gas compression, processing and transmission infrastructure as well as water transport and treatment facilities. Utilising existing upstream infrastructure will reduce impacts to landholders and to communities.”

Mr Qian said phased development activity would commence from the expansion of Arrow’s Tipton fields, near Dalby, and build to new development areas from around 2021.

The project is expected to create about 1000 new jobs – 800 during peak construction and around 200 ongoing operational roles.

The current Queensland total gas supply is about 1450PJ/yr, while Queensland residential and industrial demand is about 178PJ/yr.

“Collaboration will accelerate first gas production to approximately 2020, bringing an additional 240 petajoules per year (PJ/yr) or 655 terajoules per day (TJ/d) of gas to the Queensland market at peak production,” Mr Qian said.

Queensland Resources Council (QRC) chief executive Ian Macfarlane said today’s announcement brought the scale and infrastructure of LNG production to bear on Arrow’s proven gas reserves.

“That’s the only way to get this gas out of the ground at an affordable price”, said Mr Macfarlane

“More gas being produced is good news for all gas customers both domestic and export.

“The QRC congratulates Arrow and Shell’s QCLNG on this milestone agreement which again demonstrates that Queensland is leading the way when it comes to working to address the problem of the gas shortage.”

Arrow Energy said it was also continuing to progress development options in the Bowen Basin, where it operates one of the oldest and geographically largest domestic gas projects (Moranbah Gas Project, owned jointly with AGL Energy) for electricity and industrial uses.

The company recently invested more than $500 million in the Daandine Expansion Project (commissioned in late 2016) and commenced a $100 million-plus project this year to expand capacity at its Daandine and Tipton fields by 30 per cent.Arrow inks major Surat Basin gas deal
New owners believe they can restore north-west Queensland’s Century mine site to a place among the world’s top 10 zinc producers through a $113 million tailings reprocessing operation.

New Century Resources today announced the results of a restart feasibility study, completed in collaboration with Sedgman, including detailed economic analysis on a large scale tailings reprocessing operation using existing site infrastructure.

Its board has approved an immediate progression to the construction, refurbishment and re-commissioning phase, with the aim of starting production at Century in July 2018.

Total site-based personnel are expected to reach 135 for construction, and 238 in operations, including crews to operate the associated export facilities at Karumba port and the M.V. Wunma transhipment vessel.

It is expected to cost $50 million to reach production at an initial throughput rate of 8Mpta, with a further $63 million to be invested over a 15 month-period to ramp up to 15Mtpa.

Steady state production would be 507,000tpa of zinc concentrate at 52 per cent zinc over an initial 6.3-year mine life, based on hydraulic mining of the Century tailings deposit only.

The company says defined in-situ zinc deposits at Silver King and East Fault Block, combined with confirmed mineralisation at South Block and Watsons Lode, show clear potential to extend base metal operations beyond that phase.

Based on the operating cost estimates, New Century Resources believes its tailings deposit venture will be the one of the lowest cost primary zinc operations in the world.

New Century proposes to use a specialised contract hydraulic mining company to carry out mining on site, with selection of the preferred contractor to be announced in Q1 2018.

The zinc concentrate produced at the mine and processing site, 250km from Mount Isa, will be is pumped to Karumba via the 304km slurry pipeline used by Century's previous owners.

MMG ended processing operations at Century in early 2016 following depletion of the ore reserves from the original ‘Big Zinc’ ore body.

In March this year, Century Bull entered into binding agreements for the progressive acquisition of the Century zinc mine and all associated infrastructure, including the Karumba port facility.

Attila Resources initially purchased 70 per cent of the project from Century Bull and in July recommenced trading on the ASX under the name New Century Resources.

Thumbs up for Century tailings project

Adani has announced a series of regional Queensland employment roadshows where Downer Group representatives will meet with jobseekers.

Downer Group is the mining contractor for the Carmichael coal project.

“As our project continues to move forward, we are excited to bring regional Queensland workers on board to help us start building our mine, rail and port projects,” Adani chief executive officer and country head Jeyakumar Janakaraj said.

“Groups hoping to stop us have failed, because we have already started.”

So far, there are five confirmed jobseeker events on the calendar, with additional events to be announced in the coming weeks.

Rockhampton and Townsville are the focus for Downer’s mine recruitment efforts, following the recent mine FIFO Hub announcements.

First in line is the Gear Up Rocky Job Readiness Expo on Wednesday, November 29, followed by community engagement outreaches in Woorabinda (November 30), Cherbourg (December 4), Townsville (December 12) and Palm Island (December 13).

The Rockhampton event is open to all with no registration required, while jobseekers looking to attend the Townsville event will need to register with Downer Group.

To register, visit www.downercareers.com and quote the job number 545214.

Adani announces jobs roadshow