What does your role entail and what does your company do?
I’m the director and owner of Absafe Pty Ltd.
Absafe is a specialist contractor that provides diagnostics, repair and maintenance to all forms of the built environment. Our forte is difficult access, whether it be at heights, confined spaces, or otherwise extreme conditions.
We are triple accredited ISO, PCCP and IRATA qualified, and specialise in engineering, diagnostics, protective coatings, concrete repair and mechanical maintenance.
We also manage a retail arm that supplies specialist safety equipment.
What has been your favourite corrosion project that you have worked on and why?
Hazelwood Chimney Stacks.
It’s always a joy when a project is not only a perfect fit for your capabilities but also aids in your development as a company. Working with a decaying, end-of-life asset might not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially considering the uncertain, ever-changing priorities within the political climate at Hazelwood in early 2017. We found ourselves trying to formulate end-of-life strategies for an asset in which the goal posts were constantly changing.
One of the most important questions of an end-of-life strategy is: ‘when is the asset’s life going to end?’. Unfortunately, this was far from clear as Hazelwood powered on in 2016.
After carrying out initial inspections in early 2016 we discovered that delamination of the chimneys’ external façade was carrying on at an alarming rate. Following removal of large areas of spalled material and after beginning patch repairs which involved a pioneering shotcreting method at 150 metres height, we were then informed of Hazelwood’s imminent closure.
This necessitated a reevaluation of the whole operation and change in focus from repair to short-term sustainability. In short, the chimneys must remain standing until the rest of Hazelwood is demolished.
What are the important corrosion related issues facing industry/your business today?
Quality versus cost in delivering remedial outcomes is undoubtedly the primary issue facing the industry. Maintaining high standards and delivering high quality works against tight budgets and cost-driven asset owners seems to be our constant battle these days.
Why are you a member of the ACA?
I find that the ACA has not only provided me with a fantastic network of like-minded peers but has also been an invaluable source of knowledge and an opportunity for thought leadership.
It offers outstanding conference settings for its networking and discussion groups and top-rate training.