Nothing but Australian steel for a big engineering challenge

“The Wulguru Group relies on the quality of Australian steel. It’s Australian steel that reinforces the company’s reputation for high quality fabrication. ”

The Wulguru Group is one of northern Australia’s largest steel fabrication companies. The privately owned business has been around since 1976 and is renowned for its innovative engineering solutions and quality infrastructure.

There’s barely a function for steel the Wulguru Group has not turned its talents to. Everything from maintaining the rolling stock that traverses our vast land, to pipe welding, rail wheel machining, materials handling, food and sugar processing, as well as designing the abattoirs that put meat on the table for millions of Australians.

The Group is big – and not shy about tackling big engineering challenges.

Wulguru Steel is one of five specialist divisions within the Wulguru Group. The business specialises in the production of large steel tanks and is about to complete the Hughenden Tank Reservoir project in Northern Queensland.

While not the largest tank construction project the company has undertaken, it’s not been without its logistical challenges.

Wayne Landrigan, Group General Manager, gives us the run- down on this valuable project for the Shire of Flinders.

“Hughenden is located around 380 kilometres west of Townsville and 1400 kilometres north-west of Brisbane,” explains Wayne. So planning in this project has been critical.

“Everything had to be transported to the site. It’s just a small town of 1100 people, so there was no capacity to purchase materials that may have been forgotten back in Townsville!”

The Hughenden welded steel tank has a 19 metre diameter with a maximum wall height of 18 metres. It will add 4.3 megalitres of water storage capacity to the township’s current 1.7 megalitre-capacity, and provide greater water security for the community.

Only quality steel for a project like this.

Wulguru has a long-term relationship with BlueScope Distribution. The design standards for the tank’s construction demand only the very best steel, precise processing and attention to detail in project management to ensure material is delivered to specification and to the agreed timelines.

“As clients we insist on Australian made steel,” says Wayne. “One of the most important things in our business is material traceability and BlueScope Distribution manages this process better than any other supplier.

“With BlueScope Distribution we get quality steel, the delivery lead times we need, and certification. That is critical for every project we undertake,” Wayne explains.

For the Hughenden project, Wulguru worked with BlueScope’s XLERPLATE® steel Grade 350 which is the infrastructure and construction steel plate material benchmark in Australia.

“Our BlueScope Distribution Project Team, led by Jay Waddington worked closely with Wulguru Steel to carefully plan for the Hughenden Reservoir Tank project and ensured all required Xlerplate steel was delivered for the project

on schedule” said James Murdoch, Branch Manager of BlueScope Distribution, Townsville.

“We were able to coordinate profiling and processing services to ensure the plate was delivered as per Wulguru Steel’s specific requirements and worked closely together to ensure the project was completed on time. We have a long history

of working with the team from Wulguru Steel, and have been proud to contribute to many innovative projects over that time. We look forward to partnering with Wulguru Steel on further project supply opportunities in future” adds James.

Scale of the project.

“The value of this project is around $3.6 million,” says Wayne. “Wulguru has put more than 10,000 man-hours into the 25- week program.

“The primary fabrication was done in our Townsville facility. That involved forming the curved metal plates (or strakes), manufacture of platforms and ladders and the steel pipe work.

“The tank strakes had a preliminary coating application in Townsville before being transported to Hughenden. Then the bulk of the fabrication was completed on site.”

Australian owned, supporting Australian business.

Wulguru prides itself on building lasting relationships with clients and suppliers. Through every division in the Wulguru Group, there is the culture of delivering reliability and quality.

The company employs more than 250 highly trained staff across two workshops in Townsville and one in Brisbane. The Group also has blast and paint facilities and a crane hire business in Townsville.

“We’re involved with a wide range of clients across all industries, including mining and mineral processing, private and government infrastructure projects, sugar and food producers, as well as marine, rail and fuel.

“We’re growing our client base as well as the projects we undertake,” says Wayne. “We’ve had some large expansion through development of new businesses and strategic acquisitions and our growth is ongoing.”

The Wulguru Group relies on the quality of Australian steel. It’s Australian steel that reinforces the company’s reputation for high quality fabrication.

The community of Hughenden will benefit from the construction of this new infrastructure asset for generations to come. The next big project for Wulguru is construction of 6 x 4.1 megalitre leach tanks that will help Ravenswood Gold Mine achieve its expansion plans.

Download Case Study: Nothing but Australian steel for a big engineering challenge

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