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Australian staffing company Skilled Group Limited (SKE: ASX) today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Skilled Offshore Pty Limited has signed a Letter of Intent advising that it has been awarded a significant contract with Saipem. The contract will involve the provision of manning services for the Gas Export Pipeline component of the INPEX-operated Ichthys LNG Project. This project will construct an 889 kilometre pipeline connecting the offshore central processing facility to the onshore processing facility in Darwin.
Under the contract, Skilled Offshore will provide qualified construction and marine crews for engagement on the pipe-lay vessels. The total contract value is approximately AUD 200 million (USD 186.8 million).
There is also provision for the supply of technical professional roles to the project, which would further increase the value of the contract. The award is subject to completion of contract documentation which is expected to occur within the next 4 weeks.
Planning for project execution will begin immediately with construction and marine activity expected to commence towards the end of the 2014 financial year. This phase of the project is due to be completed by mid-2015.
Commenting on the contract award, Skilled Group CEO, Mr McMahon said, “We are very pleased that Skilled Offshore will be supporting Saipem and the Ichthys LNG Project with the provision of highly qualified personnel and a focus on Australian jobs and training opportunities. We will be working in close collaboration with Saipem by providing an innovative approach to recruiting for these positions.”
He continued: “This approach will see the Skilled Offshore project delivery team being based in the Saipem project office alongside Saipem personnel to ensure a full alignment of their objectives and successful outcome on this exciting and challenging project.”
“This contract win reflects Skilled Group’s capability as Australia’s leading provider of flexible labour solutions, the development of an innovative solution to match client requirements and builds on our expanded presence in Darwin following our recent acquisition of Broadsword Marine Contractors,” Mr McMahon concluded.
Skilled Group is Australian’s largest staffing company, according to research by Staffing Industry Analysts. Following the announcement of the contract, the company’s share price rose +2.2% to AUD 3.25 (USD 3.04), an increase of +28% compared with a year ago. Based on its share price, the company has a current market value of AUD 760 million (USD 710.2 million).