BGC Contracting is recruiting hundreds of people for work on Gina Rinehart's Roy Hill iron ore project after winning a $420 million contract due to start next month.
Len Buckeridge-owned BGC Contracting will need a peak workforce of 500 in January next year to complete its two-year contract with project manager Samsung C&T.
The extra workers will swell the WA contractor to its biggest-ever workforce of nearly 3000 workers, with an additional 400 tradesmen and women required for the contract.
This includes construction plant operators for civil earthworks, as well as carpenters, steel fixers and concrete workers for the foundations.
A further 100 engineers and other white collar workers will be hired for works on future stages of the project, south of Port Hedland.
Roy Hill is providing a much-needed injection to the subdued mining sector, having awarded several recent contracts.
This includes a $257 million contract between Samsung C&T with John Holland to build a rail track on the project, and a $23 million contract for Calibre to design part of the railway.
NRW Holdings last week signed a $620 million earthworks contract related to the rail between Roy Hill and Port Hedland.
Forge Group and Spanish contractor Duro Felguera signed a $1.47 billion engineering, procurement and construction contract for the development of a processing facility at Newman.
The contract comes at a crucial time for BGC Contracting, after Mr Buckeridge conceded recently he was open to selling the division he built from scratch.
_ WestBusiness _ recently revealed that Mr Buckeridge had made inquiries about the tax impact of spinning off BGC Contracting, though he has denied that he was actively seeking a buyer.
BGC Contracting chief executive Greg Heylen yesterday said it was the company's second contract on the Roy Hill project. He was hopeful of more to come.
"There are a couple more contracts that we are chasing and would like to win on Roy Hill," he said.
"It's a good news story that WA contractors are winning a fair chunk of work on this project."Importantly, this contract award contributes to $4 billion of work in hand for BGC Contracting, which is significant in a time of declining opportunity for contractors in a subdued market."