Chevron gets the greenlight to construct its headquarters at Elizabeth Quay, more jobs and increased wages on the horizon as businesses in WA make preparations for expansion, and Tianqi fires up its $700m Kwinana lithium plant; all covered in our WA monthly news brief.
Chevron gets approval for headquarters
Construction of the new Australian headquarters for Chevron at Elizabeth Quay is set to begin next year. This is after the oil and gas giant recently got approval from the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority to proceed with the $360 million project.
Chevron acquired the 6,795sqm plot for its HQ at the intersection of The Esplanade and Barrack Street back in 2013 for $64 million, but years of delays and stalling by the energy company has seen the project remain stagnant until now.
The 30-storey building will house a childcare centre and gym on the lower floors with the upper ones providing 52,000 sqm of office space for Chevron that will include conference and exhibition facilities.
The approval was lauded by Rita Saffioti, Planning Minister, who pointed out that the project would create hundreds of jobs while helping push Elizabeth Quay towards its envisioned goal of self-sustenance.
More jobs and increased wages for WA with business expansion plans
Western Australian businesses have been forecast to increase staff numbers while spending more money on wages in 2019 with workers being the biggest winners. According to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCIWA), a huge number of businesses operating within the sate are gearing up for expansion with an expected increase in their workers and wages.
The newest WA Super-CCI Business Confidence Survey conducted recently provides a summary of business expectations and State-wide economic conditions: based on this, things seem to be looking up according to Rick Newman, CCIWA chief economist.
At least 10 times more business owners expressed optimism for the future as compared to 2015 when only about 5% expected things to improve. 35% of the businesses surveyed expect to add to their workforce in the coming 3 months with 43% expecting the cost of labour and wages to increase.
Mr. Newman did, however, express concern of a looming skills shortage in WA especially in the resources, mining and energy sectors where job ads have increased by 23% from October 2018.
Tianqi fires up its $700m Kwinana lithium plant
Tianqi Lithium has all-but finished the first stage of it’s lithium processing plant at Kwinana at a cost of $400 million. The new plant has now transitioned into the commissioning stage with exports of high-volume lithium hydroxide expected to commence from mid this year.
Tianqi is planning to spend at least $700 million on its plant at Kwinana in two stages. Work on the second stage of the plant – which will cost $300 million – is already in progress with completion scheduled for late this year.
The company has already hired 70 workers out of the 170 that will be required to operate the plant, a significant number of them coming from the local area.