About Kwinana Industries Council
The Kwinana Industries Council (KIC) is an incorporated business association with membership drawn from the Kwinana Industrial Area (KIA). It is the premier industrial estate in Western Australia, covering an area approximately 8km north-south and 2km east-west, on the eastern side of Cockburn Sound some 30km south of the Perth CBD.
What We Do
- Promote industry
- Attract industry
- Improve the international competitiveness of the industrial area
What is KIC?
KIC is a not-for-profit incorporated business association with its membership drawn from the major industries and businesses in the Kwinana Industrial Area.
THE KIC WAS INCORPORATED IN 1991 WITH THE PRIMARY GOALS OF:
- promoting a positive image of Kwinana industries;
- facilitating community access to Kwinana industries;
- promoting high standards of business ethics and practices;
- promoting and advancing the common interests of Kwinana industries;
- liaising with stakeholders in relation to the environment, public health, safety and industrial development, either as an association or on behalf of its Members, to ensure cost efficiency and protection of Members’ interests;
- detecting, determining and collating data relating to environmental emissions as a result of industry activity.
KIC ACHIEVES THESE GOALS THROUGH:
- industry leadership and advocacy;
- commitment to environmental sustainability and harmony; and
- community engagement and support.
What We Do
The Western Trade Coast is the State’s Premier Industrial Area. Collectively, the industries located within the WTC generate significant wealth for Western Australia. Individually, the industries focus on delivering finished product to their customers at internationally competitive prices, and this takes a great deal of focus. KIC can assist with elevating the reputation of the collective on the State and world stages, and by doing so, strengthen the industrial cluster. Promoting industry within the WTC assists with garnering the support of government agencies and departments to plan for and deliver de-bottlenecking infrastructure, regulatory and land use planning improvements for industry.
A measure of the strength of an industrial area is the economic contribution to the economy of the sovereign government that the resident industries make. Every industry present in the cluster benefits from any industrial symbiosis opportunities available, through lower costs of production or higher returns. As the industrial area continues to fill up, it gains economic strength. One of the ways to assist this process is to have engagement in activities that attract new industries to the cluster. KIC actively works on industry attraction, and if potential new entrant company wants to explore the opportunities and benefits of being located in the cluster, they need only to make contact with KIC to progress discussions.
Improve the international competitiveness of the industrial area
KIC works on behalf of its members to resolve issues that constrain the industrial area from providing a competitive business environment. What does this mean? Well, if there are aspects of the common user infrastructure – roads, rail, port, future industrial land availability, excessive red tape and such like – KIC will work with government to remove these constraints. Whilst there must be a long-term focus on the resolution of any such constraints on industry, there are many other small-picture constraints, the removal of which all add up to improving the international competitiveness of individual companies operating within the cluster. It is pleasing that there is substantial progress being made on many fronts.
“Many who have taken the tours have chosen to locate their projects within the WTC partly as a result of the information and insights provided to them.”
How We Do It
The Director offers tours of the WTC to parties who have expressed an interest in understanding the nature of the industrial cluster. Tours are provided for a range of reasons. Participants have been local, state and Federal politicians and public servants, international trade delegates, national and international investors and major infrastructure builders looking for projects. A consistent theme since 2017 has been increasing numbers of participants from within the national and international Lithium sector… These people have projects and they are assessing the WTC as a locational option for further consideration. Many who have taken the tours have chosen to locate their projects within the WTC partly as a result of the information and insights provided to them.
Industrial advocacy is at the heart of how KIC goes about achieving its purpose. Alerting decision-makers, usually from within the public sector, to issues is necessary work. We work collaboratively to remove constraints and this is an effective way to achieve positive outcomes for industry. This work can be in response to an issue of collegiate significance, or it can be an individual company issue, the resolution of which can be as simple as drawing the matter to the attention of the right person in the public sector. The effectiveness of this work is built upon respectful relationships, measured, reasoned perspectives, and public sector governance requirements. KIC does not seek to advocate for industry by way of political donations, or corporate gifts and hospitality.
I have had the pleasure of working with the KIC on its Executive Committee for the past 10 years, and as President I am pleased to provide this summary on behalf of the KIC Board.
Welcome to the 2022 KIC Annual Report. Activities described in this report will provide a clear insight to how KIC members are proactively working with each other and the boarder community to ensure a sustainable and bright future exists for all.
The global economic impact of Covid, war in Ukraine, and unstable geopolitics have resulted in significant increases in inflation and energy cost, inefficient supply chains, and rising lending costs impacting all KIC member industries.
Inflationary pressure has resulted in significantly higher cost bases for most businesses which has invariably placed greater focus on controlling costs while still servicing customer needs. At the same time, the export facing WA mining sector has also enjoyed lower foreign exchange rates which has seen an uplift in Australian dollar revenue. Australian supply has also been favoured ahead of other jurisdictions due to Australia continuing to be recognised by customers wishing to manage sensitive supply chains more securely. These factors have resulted in a positive impact on the Kwinana based businesses which support the WA mining sector.
Prior to the pandemic and the more recent inflationary times, commodity prices were generally steady and variations in pricing were somewhat manageable. While local industrial export-facing businesses selling in US dollars have enjoyed some currency exchange relief, the headwinds of increasing supply and energy pricing are proving to be highly challenging conditions for several sectors of the economy.
Included within the tumultuous times is the dynamics of the global transition to a greener society. The megatrends associated with a green economy continue to take shape, and this is something which is being well supported of KIC and its members. The KIC, as well as its individual industry members initiated their carbon reduction strategies some time ago.
Over my years working in industry, I have seen many changes in economic conditions and have always been inspired by the determination of Kwinana industry to innovate, adapt and remain relevant. Regrettably, a number of similar industrial operations throughout Australia have been slow to adapt to headwinds, and as a result have either reduced operational activities or transitioned their investments offshore. For the most part, the Kwinana Industrial Area (KIA) has punched well above its weight, and is recognised internationally for its growth, longevity and its more than170 cross boundary process flow synergies between KIA businesses. These synergies offer considerable competitive advantage to industries that have established themselves together within the KIA cluster, and these advantages are of critical importance during uncertain times and when overcapacity exists in the global economy.
Despite the turbulence of economic cycles, over the longer term the KIA has remained successful because; firstly, existing businesses have been nimble to identify and adjust to headwinds; secondly, they have been quick to seize opportunities and leverage existing capabilities; and thirdly, they utilise their highly determined, talented and committed employees.
“…Transitioning to a greener economy is critical for our future. The KIA is currently undertaking a significant transition with several project developments and industry investments supporting society’s transition towards a green economy.”
Mr Albert Romano
Kwinana Industries Council President
The KIA delivers on various fundamental needs (and addresses key supply risks) that exist within our modern society. Western Australia is lucky to have a vibrant industrial area in Kwinana with its extensive range of viable capabilities that can competitively produce the essential inputs. Shoring up this supply is important to our society for several reasons.
1. The KIA provides a means of essential connectivity and continuity across important sectors of our WA economy, broader society, and its regions. Most people don’t realise just how reliant our daily lives are on Kwinana’s industry and exactly how connected it is with regional WA. I’m referring to Kwinana industry being responsible for producing and handling many of the key inputs required by society such as; refined essential materials used in construction, refined materials used for renewable energies and battery manufacturing and high technology light weight alloys, critical chemicals used in drinking water and water treatment purification, sanitation chemicals and specialised gases for hospitals and laboratories, chemicals and fertilisers for agriculture and food production, fuels and gas used for all forms of air road and rail transport, mining chemicals and explosives essential to scale and productivity, gases used in domestic and commercial heating, refrigerants for cooling, pigments used in paints, etc… These inputs are extensive and are continuously being used in our daily lives directly or indirectly, without many of us giving much thought as to where the inputs are coming from. Many modern-day aspects of our lives are fully reliant on these inputs, and in essence, these inputs are fundamental enablers to having a functioning society. This important reliance is precisely why the inputs are used throughout the WA economy, as well as exported out through Kwinana to others.
2. Transitioning to a greener economy is critical for our future. The KIA is currently undertaking a significant transition with several project developments and industry investments supporting society’s transition towards a green economy. An array of major projects exist at various levels of development and ramp-up, and some of these include; Tianqi’s Lithium Hydroxide refinery, BHP’s Nickel Sulphate plant, the Avertas Waste to Energy plant, Covalent’s Lithium Hydroxide refinery, Synergy’s installation of 100MW Battery, bp Kwinana’s pivot into a renewable fuels production hub, Woodside’s Perth H2 Hydrogen project, with many other projects under development.
3. Kwinana is a major employer of skilled workers, apprentices, and trainees, and is also responsible for generating more than $16 billion of the State’s economic activity. Many lives, livelihoods, families, businesses, and communities are connected to and highly reliant on these activities occurring.
4. The KIA provides locational strength. Nestled on the coast within the Perth metropolitan area, being protected by an industrial buffer zone, and with the enhanced port infrastructure promised by the McGowan government due to the relocation of the freight task from Fremantle, the Kwinana Industrial Area is set to expand, which means more employment opportunities will abound and our economy further strengthened. This locational aspect is of immense importance because the co-location of industries offers the participants in the area collectively key synergies where they and able to efficiently share inputs as well as utilise each other’s outputs. This sharing of materials, products, services, and infrastructure delivers significant competitive advantages. The co-location of industry fosters efficiency and unique trade reliance. This is occurring continuously and is supported through associated transport workers and businesses and service industries.
The Kwinana Industrial Area continues to act as an important enabler needed to support our broader Western Australian society. For it to remain effective, it needs to be appropriately protected through effective State land-use planning, remain connected by important unrestricted well set out efficient road and rail freight links which can grow, and in turn this allows important materials to flow to where they are critically needed by consumers in society. Ensuring there is space for the elements of this overall system to expand in a healthy and manageable way over time is essential to the long-term success of our communities and daily lives.
Similarly ensuring issues impacting the activities within this system are responded to in early and proactive preventative manner allows the system to continue to function in a reliable and self-sustainable manner.
Whether it is electricity to power our homes and businesses, the production of battery precursor material for use in electric vehicles, the generation of energy from alternate fuel sources supporting customer transition to a low carbon economy, the production of efficient clean fuels for specialty transport applications, the production of fertilisers to allow the state to grow crops and other foods we eat, or the supply of chemicals to sanitise the water we drink or products to construct buildings,
Kwinana based industries continue to be fundamentally critical in ensuring our modern society functions well. While some may view having a vibrant manufacturing industrial footprint as undesirable, recent world events have highlighted serious exposures which remind us of the critical importance of having local manufacturing and supply capabilities. For various reasons cited, the reality is that as a society we are highly reliant on the existence of efficient industries. There is a strong desire and need for industry to continue to improve its efficiencies, reduce emissions and continue to remain relevant to consumers.
It will be the expertise and determination of the people connected with industrial businesses that will continue to reinvent the nature of industry and ensure it meets all customer demands while also finding innovative solutions to issues that meet the broader expectations and needs of society and its various stakeholders.
Our ongoing strategy to have a certainty of supply to our customers and the broader society, drives us to maintain the buffer and to secure protection from incompatible development around the industrial area, and this remains a key focus for the KIC. KIC continues to advocate for the responsible management of the industrial area and protection from the encroachment of non-industrial development incompatible sensitive land uses within its surrounding buffer zone.
KIC believes the management of the State’s premier manufacturing area requires greater certainty of land use as well as area defined and allocated for industrial and non-industrial development. The value the Kwinana Industrial Area delivers cannot be underestimated, and protecting the industrial buffer is essential. In this matter KIC is determined, and continues to shine a light on this important issue and welcomes positive outcomes with the State Government and its related departments and agencies.
Another ingredient underpinning the success of the KIA is how neighbouring industrial businesses proactively come together to address common strategic issues, both current and on the horizon – and that’s where KIC comes in.
KIC ensures there is a strong platform for companies to work together and resolve issues of a broader critical importance. In the past year KIC has completed several new initiatives, and this year two great examples of projects completed that represent a common collegiate interest are KIC’s strong advocacy for the Westport new port in Kwinana project, where our strong advocacy has been a significant factor in the redesign of the Anketell Road ‘Freight Freeway’ and the now proposed rebuild of the projectassociated Kwinana Bulk Jetty. These examples of infrastructure centred project work, as well as other project workstreams such as our community and education projects like our ‘Women in Industry’ projects continue to deliver important outcomes across a wide range of areas, and these and other initiatives are detailed further within this report.
Reflecting on the various initiatives and projects under development, I always feel proud of the role KIC has played supporting these developments and how collaborative efforts can translate an investment concept into new local jobs and economic activity.
KIC’s 2022 Annual Report will provide readers with further detail of some activities undertaken by KIC member industries over the past year. To that end, I’d like to recognise the outstanding support KIC members receive from the KIC secretariat, Chris Oughton, Debbie Hoey, Yvonne Noack, and Kristy Clark and I am also very grateful for the commitment shown by our Executive, Board, Committee Chairs and Committee Members.
KIC members can be very satisfied that they are making a big difference to community aspirations
In my 15 years as KIC’s Director, I’ve never seen such growth and diversified industrial activity.
World events have thrown new challenges and opportunities into the mix as a new global order appears to be emerging.
Many of the enterprises located within the Kwinana Industrial Area (KIA) are exporters into these international markets and are far from being insulated from the effects of these.
For over six decades, the industrial area has proven its resilience to adverse events and its willingness to reposition itself to take part in emerging international megatrends. Enterprises are responding to these challenges and opportunities when we take a close look at what is going on.
Not a place as such, more of a new themed industry sector emerging within the Western Trade Coast (WTC), but more specifically in the southern third.
Lithium Valley conveys a sense of innovation, agile responses to new world-scale trends, technology and research, ‘skunkworks’.
Lithium Valley is now well underway and is being recognised by the European Union and other international organisations.
Two lithium hydroxide refineries under commissioning or construction, nickel sulphate in production, multiple high purity alumina projects soon to emerge, as well as graphite and graphene projects. There are more cathode and anode projects to come, and battery manufacturing proponents are interested in Lithium Valley
I have been so very proud to be associated with KIC on so many fronts over so many years. The members’ willingness to collectively, in addition to their own corporate strategies, engage in the development of a carbon reduction plan is significant for Australia, and is being showcased on the world’s stage.
Make no mistake, the willingness to embark on the delivery of this plan is audacious, challenging, confronting, and necessary.
Everything you need to know about KIC’s ‘Carbon Reduction for the KIA’ project is explained on our website at kic.org.au/library just type “CRKIA” into the search box.
I had the honour of being invited to present on the CRKIA project during one the Action Hub events at the UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) which was held in Glasgow in late 2021, sadly though, from my home office.
KIC will be presenting at COP27 in late 2022.
KIC was the first complex industrial area signatory to the World Economic Forum’s ‘Statement of Ambition’ in advance of COP26, and there were 15 major industrial areas signed prior to the April progress meeting.
Talking about carbon reduction and renewable energy, what an incredible turnaround ‘bp (Kwinana) refinery’ pivoted toward last year!
To transition from from an oil refinery with associated fuel storage capability to the latter, plus exploration into renewable fuels including bio-diesel and bio-aviation, and (potentially) green hydrogen, is impressive to say the least.
At the opposite end of the scale is the State government’s decision to (mid -stream) fundamentally change its approach to the issuance of geothermal bore tenement licences.
Somewhere in DMIRS it was decided to put the geothermal tenement acreage out to tender, so it will be very interesting to see which companies are awarded the acreage.
A Western Australian company with proven deep geothermal capability, which was able to produce fully renewable hydrogen, oxygen, electricity, ammonia and urea, had its legitimately-submitted (and paid for) geothermal tenement applications rejected after about 18 months, when the benchmark turnaround is three months.
Long story short, the company (Good Water Energy) was given the ‘red carpet treatment’ by the Northern Territory government and has advanced so quickly in that jurisdiction that bore drilling is expected to start in Q4 2022.
This is an appalling outcome for WA and for industry here generally, including our resources and agricultural industries.
KIC is very encouraged by the planning for the container port in Kwinana that is under way.
The project is in good hands under the leadership of Patrick Seares, the Project Director, and he has assembled an impressive team of ‘young minds’ (well relative to me they are young) with a fulsome set of environmental, capacity, economic and design studies all now commenced.
Interestingly, all are required to be finished by the end of June 2024, eight months out from the next State election.
We are in great hope there will be a decision to move into the construction phase post the 2025 election. The planning for the new port precipitates the planning that is necessary to remove many of the existing freight and materials transfer constraints which are holding the KIA back from being able to achieve higher levels of performance.
Building the new port is one of the keys to unlocking international competitiveness gains for KIC members and indeed, all industry with a freight task to perform.
Tariffs on the carbon content of products exported to the European Union are coming.
I am hearing signals it has increased in 12 months from 70 to 90 Euros per tonne of embedded carbon. This is a major driver for corporate decarbonisation, because, as the marketing slogan goes, “the customer is always right”.
It will be a case of keep the customer by decarbonising the product. KIC members are deeply aware of the shifting towards this new paradigm.
Enterprises that have an indirect role in the product manufacturing chains, whether they be the transport carriers, the utility suppliers, or the suppliers of engineering services, will need to be ‘counting their own carbon’, because it will be included in the carbon foot print of the final manufactured product.
No Director’s report would be complete without some reference to the pandemic and its impacts. The knife edge that industry has been on is taking its toll.
How much longer will the worry about maintaining functioning operating shifts go on, and how many ‘waves’ are to come? These questions remain the daily reality for many and there appears to be little respite on the horizon.
Compounding this of course is the worrisome loss of skilled workers to the broader resources sector.
Coupling the impacts of this with state and national border closures has compounded the issue, and this skilled worker shortage environment is expected to remain for some time.
For some years the KIC has been working to achieve a better governance framework for the WTC.
This culminated prior to the most recent State election when KIC developed a Governance White Paper and socialised it into the elected government, believing it had been quite well received at that political level.
What emerged in response was a taskforce model, very similar in composition to the one created under the Barnett government in 2011, but with one significant difference. The composition of the Taskforce does not include collective industry representation. KIC views this lack of industry representation as illogical, and whilst significant efforts to add KIC and the Henderson Alliance to the Taskforce membership have failed to date, no credible explanation has been provided.
KIC membership has surged during the year, due in part to our increased presence on social media, and also as a result of the WTC tours that have been made widely available for some years now.
As our membership grows, so too does our ability to lay claim to higher levels of industry representation. There were 12 new Associate members inducted into the KIC family during the year, and we were especially pleased to accept Woodside (the Perth H2 project) as a Full member, taking its place on the KIC Board of members.
Careers for high school students
Our Education Development program is featured later in this annual report. In essence it is a program delivering industry career aspirations to Year 10 high school students, and career pathway options (preapprenticeships) for Year 11 and 12 students.
In total we graduate about 300 students annually from our programs, which are essentially fully funded by the members. A small, but valued contribution comes from the 19 high schools that form the backbone of the program, and from which the students are sourced.
There is no program like this in Australia that we can find, and KIC members can be very satisfied that they are making a big difference to community aspirations over time with this multi-award-winning program.
So, what does the future hold for the State’s premier industrial area?
The industrial skyline is certainly going to look very busy. There are likely to be several large wind turbines operating and there’ll be cranes-a-plenty raising up the many new construction projects.
The Westport project could get the green light for commencement after the next WA state election, and we would see the beginning of the roll-out of the associated (road, maritime, and rail) freight infrastructure upgrades which will be necessary to support it.
Carbon reduction efforts will be well underway and a transition to green energy and hydrogen-based products for domestic and international consumption will be an internationally-recognised feature of the cluster.
Membership levels will continue to grow and we will have transitioned to an improved ‘member value’ service delivery model, increasingly aimed at the Associate member level.
I sincerely hope that we will have secured, once and for all, preservation of the industrial buffer zone, but I do have my reservations on this one.
The long term and apparent influence of the residential property developers in this State seems excessive, and we may see the spotlight come into focus on this in relation to some of the current buffer zone conflicts.
An expansion of the heavy industrial core, being the Kwinana/Rockingham industrial areas, is necessary and now urgent.
- The only place that is suitable for its expansion is into Latitude 32, a largely undeveloped industrial area at Wattleup/ Mandogalup.
- It has the biggest buffer zone and is ideally located to be connected to the northern part of the KIA.
- The township of Wattleup was razed to provide industrial land around 20 years ago, and maybe the Westport project will be the trigger for the heavy industrial zone expansion.
So finally, let me first thank the members, Full and Associate, for their support and encouragement over the past year.
There have been many challenges raised and without the knowledge that they ‘have my back’, I would not have been effective in carrying many of the issues they need addressed forward for resolution.
I’d like to thank the KIC members for their support of KIC; our President, Mr Albert Romano for his leadership, and to my staff, Yvonne, Debbie, and Kristy for their dedication. I’m proud to be associated with them all.
Kwinana Industries Council operates with a formal structure consisting of the Board, the Executive, its Committees, and KIC staff.
The matters of the KIC are managed by the Board comprising a senior representative from each of the full member companies. The Board, chaired by KIC’s President, meets every two months.
In 2011, the KIC Board decided to restructure the KIC specialist committees. As a result, the Eco-Efficiency Committee was subsumed into the Environment and Planning Committee, and the Community Health Committee was taken over by the Public Affairs and Communications Advisory Group.
Select one of the links to learn more >>
Public Safety Group
Environment & Planning
Human Resources / Industrial Relations Forum
This Forum provides an opportunity for Members to network professionally in their respective fields of management and to learn through the sharing of experiences. Forums are held twice during the year and will continue in the future.
Major Hazard Facility Forums
Major Hazard Facility is a Regulator description of the industrial installation. It sits above the Daggerous Goods designation, and requires a very high level of industrial safety management and focus. The forum is primarily for KIC members with a MHF designation, but welcome to attend are any KIC members. Invited to these forums also, are MHFs from outside of the KIC membership. Around twice per year the KIC’s Public Safety Committee (KIPS) runs a forum for its members. The forums are used to provide updates about the many aspects of industrial public safety initiatives, regulatory changes, risk reduction technology advancements, and incident reporting. This is an important forum for two reasons. The first is that it provides an opportunity for industry safety professionals to meet to update themselves and to discuss implications of issues and changes. Secondly it is a terrific way for members to advance their professional knowledge through issue discussion and problem resolution. This is the professional development aspect of the forums.
Women’s Networking Forum
The Women’s Networking Forum continues to be held twice a year and is an informative and great networking system aimed primarily at women working in the KIA. Over the last 12 months we have welcomed men from industry to the Forums, and this has proven to be a positive move. We look forward to more men attending the Forums in the future.
KIC Representation on External Committees
KIC strives to liaise with key stakeholders through involvement in various committees as a key component of its formal relationship development plan. The Director, President, Vice-presidents, and committee chairpersons are all nominated in the plan to meet with key stakeholders on KIC’s behalf.
KIC has been represented on the following committees:
- Westport Reference Group
- Perth Air Quality Coordinating Committee
- Cockburn Sound Management Council
- Fremantle Ports Outer Harbour Community Liaison Group
- South Coast Business Development Organisation
- South West Economic Development Foundation
- Town of Kwinana Progress Kwinana Taskforce
- Keep Australia Working
- Western Trade Coast Industries Committee
- South West Reference Group
Many others have come and gone over the years.
KIC’s Full Members tend to be the major industrial companies operating in and near to the industrial core, or the old Kwinana Industrial Area.
At this level the member company is entitled to a seat at the KIC’s Board. This translates into the Full Member having a major voice in how KIC operates, what the key strategic issues for the industry cluster collectively are, and what KIC’s resources will be directed toward their resolution.
- Air Liquide WA Pty Ltd
- Alltype Engineering
- Bardan Cells
- BMT Mercury Technology
- BOC Ltd
- Crushing Services International
- DBNGP (WA)
- East Rockingham Waste to Energy
- EcoLab Pty Ltd
- Freo Group
- Melchor Contracting
- NBN Co
- NewGen Power
- Nufarm Australia
- Nutrien Ag Solutions
- Parabellum International
- Paragon Scaffolding Services
- Perth Energy (Western Energy)
- Primero Group
- Programmed Skilled Workforce Aust
- Q Design & Construct
- Qube Logistics
- Sea-Qeuster Offshore
- Sims Metal Management
- Solenis Australia
- Summit Fertilizers
- Suvo Strategic Minerals
- Taylors Engineering
- Tutt Bryant Group
- Waste Stream Management
- Wind With Purpose
- Worley Services
Become a Member
Interested in being part of the growing family of KIC?
Contact Us Today!
PO Box 649
Kwinana WA 6966
Tel: (08) 9419 1855
PO Box 649
Kwinana WA 6966
Tel: (08) 9419 1855
Acknowledgement of Country
Kwinana Industries Council acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country, the Nyoongar people and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.