ALE's Australian joint venture

3 September 2012 by Cristina Brooks

ALE Australia, the regional branch of the major UK hiring firm, announced a joint venture with heavylifter ECR, of Gladstone, Australia.

The partnership, which will see ALE Australia operating as ALE ECR Heavylift, will increase the firm's presence in mining and oil and gas.

Geographically, it will stretch the reach of its services within Queensland and northwestern Australia.

Equipment secured through the joint venture will support a large coal seam gas projects on Curtis Island just offshore near Gladstone.

ALE said ECR's cranes will contribute to the job, lifting 500-2,000t preassembled modules from SE Asia after they are delivered to Curtis Island by barge and heavy lift carrier.

Paul Kelly, managing director, ALE Australia explained, "We've been looking at various avenues for expansion in Australia for the last 18 months to two years through the usual angles of either acquisition, organic growth or partnering with another company and we decided that forming this joint venture would be the best way of enhancing our services and footprint in Australia.

"Moving forward, we'll be operating under the ALE ECR Heavylift name, apart from a selection of projects that are already going under the ALE banner.

"In the short term, ALE will be expanding in Queensland through the existing ECR infrastructure in Gladstone, and we are looking at setting up permanent facilities in a number of other areas," Kelly said.

"In the northwest of Australia, where ALE is now operating on a project basis, we're looking to expand services and recourses on a permanent basis."

"The mining sector is one that ALE is looking for greater exposure through the joint venture. ECR is well exposed to that sector in Queensland, so we're looking forward to greater exposure to the mining. Otherwise there's oil and gas.