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Griffin Power station approved

The recent sale of Instant Australia and more recently the announcement that UpRight was formally exiting the big boom lift market, surprised a few people in the access industry.

The announcement today that Griffin has received the approval to build the first of a number of coal fired power stations in Western Australia will perhaps shed some light on the groups strategy.

The Griffin Group has received all government approvals and reached agreement with Mitsui to commence construction of the A$400 million, 208MW coal fired Bluewaters 1 Power Station at Collie in Western Australia where the company has a number of Coal mines.

Construction will begin early next year, with completion in 2008. Mitsui will be responsible for the Engineering Procurement and Construction contract, with IHI Co Ltd of Japan, building the plant.

The new power station will use about 800,000tonnes of coal from Griffin’s mining operations in the area. A second identical plant, Bluewaters 2 is also awaiting approval.

The power stations should replace declining coal usage in the area as two state owned power stations; Muja A and B reach the end of their life.

Bluewaters will be the first privately owned Power plant in Western Australia; Griffin has expanded its energy interests including an investment in the Emu Downs wind farm at Cervantes.

Vertikal Comment

Rick Stowe, built his “empire” on the Griffin mining operations in Collie, Griffin was his first business and helped fund acquisitions such as Carpenter and then UpRight. His strategy in the 80’s and 90’s was to diversify geographically and into industries with long term potential.

With Australia benefiting from rising commodity prices and demand for raw materials, demand for energy is booming. This is likely to divert Griffins focus away form the access business and into energy.

UpRight continues to perform far better than many “industry observers” realise, it has recently installed new alloy scaffold production capability to cope with the highest demand in its history,

Powered access has not been as successful as its alloy tower business; however it still ships good numbers of the enduringly popular MX19, TM12 and AB38 from its plants in Mexico and Ireland.