Compass Group wins ~A$71M contract from Albemarle for Kemerton Expansion Project

Albemarle has awarded a major contract to Compass Group Remote Hospitality Services to operate and maintain the Paris Grove workforce accommodation precinct in Australind, near Bunbury in Western Australia.

The A$140 million ($90 million) Paris Grove village is now under construction and will provide accommodation during rosters for up to 800 people working on the A$2 billion expansion of Albemarle’s nearby Kemerton Lithium Hydroxide Processing Plant.

The contract to operate and maintain Paris Grove is valued at just under A$71 million and spans three years with extension provisions. Compass Group’s ESS Support Services Worldwide arm will be responsible for the contract and is highly experienced in operating modern workforce accommodation in a variety of settings in Western Australia and across Australia.

Around 70 people will be employed by the company on a rolling roster with the company seeking to employ as many local people as possible.

Albemarle’s Paris Grove Operations Manager, Grant Barrow, said the village was being developed as a sustainable, long term accommodation precinct specifically to support Kemerton plant expansion.

“Paris Grove will be a modern, high-quality and purpose-built village accommodating around 800 rostered workers and taking pressure off existing rentals and short term accommodation in the South West,” he said.

“Albemarle is setting out to positively change the approach to village management and operations and Compass Group will help us implement a healthy and safe culture for our workers – in line with recommendations of the recent WA Government resource sector inquiry.”

The village design is landscape-led and is being built by Grounded Construction Group. Compass Group’s ESS will roll out and maintain all onsite catering, accommodation, cleaning, security, health and lifestyle programs, grounds services and facilities management.

“A local leading interior designer has also been working on the village dining area to be a harmonious backdrop to what will be diverse and rotating high quality menu, prepared in a state-of-the-art commercial grade kitchen,” Barrow said.

“Recreation facilities and personalised and group health and wellbeing programs, including fitness activities will be very important and Albemarle is working closely with Compass Group on a range of measures to support psychosocial health at Paris Grove.”

The Compass Group contract award follows the recent Albemarle announcement of two other major Kemerton expansion contracts including a A$330 million contract to UGL, part of the CIMIC Group, and a A$200 million-plus contract to Monadelphous.

Albemarle’s Kemerton Expansion Project will see construction of processing trains three and four with plant capacity set to double at full capacity to up to 100,000 t/y of lithium hydroxide.

Albemarle’s VP, Capital Projects Australia, Josh Rowan said the contracts were among the largest ever awarded by Albemarle and that the Compass Group/ESS Contract was the first workforce accommodation contract ever awarded by the company in Australia.

“We are Australia’s largest producer and manufacturer of lithium and our Kemerton plant is about to get a whole lot bigger,” Rowan said. “Construction of trains 3 and 4 is set to create over 1000 new jobs across all of our major contractors and Albemarle has recently launched an intensive three-month recruitment drive in support of our major Kemerton contractors.

“We are particularly pleased that Compass Group is seeking to employ as many local people as possible to run and manage Paris Grove with the variety and flexibility of roles set to be very attractive to local job seekers.”