ENERGY services company WDS Limited has downgraded profit expectations after it failed to win a contract for the next phase of the Australia-Pacific LNG (APLNG) project – following the death of one of its workers at Reedy Creek in Yuleba North.
The worker, a 29 year old man, died from head injuries in September following an accident at APLNG’s Reedy Creek field, located about 100 kilometres north of Roma.
Company management is examining the root causes of the incident and is supporting authorities in their investigations.
With the company being passed over for new work at the APLNG project, WDS has scaled back its expected profit for the 2015 financial year from in excess $13.3 million to between $1 million and $3 million.
WDS chief executive Terry Chapman, who is stepping down, told investors on 13 October that while he did not believe the worksite fatality was the direct cause of losing the contract, it did significant damage to their bid.
“Clients look at a number of ways of evaluating and awarding tenders and clearly safety is one of those determinants and clearly the fatality has not been a positive for us,” Mr Chapman said.
“This incident is clearly a very significant failure in that respect and we will be working extremely hard to recover that position.”
WDS had earlier predicted its outlook for this financial year would be strong as it capitalised on “large scale developments…now moving into the sustaining phase” in Queensland’s CSG industry.
The company expects to demobilise its Reedy Creek operations in December at a cost of more than $5.8 million, adding to the $2 million loss caused by the fatality.
Mr Chapman said work crews were back on site after the accident but some equipment was yet to return to service.
The remainder of the profit downgrade was put down to “lower than expected productivity” at the Eagle Downs project at a cost of $4 million.
Mr Chapman said the company had a number of other tenders under negotiation.
“The fundamentals remain sound but we’ve unfortunately had a loss on this one,” he said.
WDS was reviewing its business strategy and moving its offices from Sydney to Brisbane at a saving of $250,000, he said.