Saturday 20th of July 2024

Halliburton Takes Port Adelaide

The former global leader of Halliburton's infrastructure activities is now in control of shipbuilding in South Australia.

An expanded maritime site announced today is now owned by a corporation controlled by ex-Halliburton/KBR chief Andrew Fletcher, who had been recruited last November to "oversee" the warship project. Fletcher, while still in his Halliburton job, held a seat on the South Australian Economic Development Board

State Premier Mike Rann says that the newly announced shipbuilding facility, which includes the Star Wars Ship construction, will make Adelaide a "global hub".

A 2004 edition of Engineers Australia Magazine explains Fletcher's role two years ago:

Senior vice-president of US company KBR, with responsibilities for global infrastructure and the Asia Pacific region
A civil engineer from Adelaide University, Andrew Fletcher was catapulted into his international position when KBR, the engineering and construction arm of US giant Halliburton, took over Australia’s Kinhill Engineers in 1997.

The company now has about 3000 staff in Australia.
One of Fletcher’s main tasks when he took over his current position was to “forge a solid global team” from the regional groups in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific including Australia.

The news of the expanded naval site has been released one day before its launching at an international expo in Sydney.

Our State premier has explained that  "This new hub, into which the State Government is investing $140 million in infrastructure, will be capable of building other ships at the same time the air warfare destroyers are being built," 

 

 Fletcher's previous company  was previously spearheaded by the former US Defense Secretary and current US Vice President, Dick Cheney.  The company constructed and has part-ownership of the Adelaide to Darwin Railway.  It also a major naval shipbuilder in the UK, and a part-owner of that country's Road Management Group

KBR has recently completed construction of the Port River Expressway that links the port to the Northern Suburbs.  Roadwork construction improving links from the port to the Southern Suburbs will commence next year.

Until last year Adelaide was the official global headquarters of Halliburton/ KBR's infrastructure division.

Treasurer Kevin Foley elaborated that the site would be suitable for companies involved in"in civil or military shipbuilding, ship repair and maintenance, metal fabrication and module construction, paint and blast, warehousing and component manufacturers and suppliers".

He added that "There is now $55 billion worth of federal defence contracts up for grabs over the next 10 to 15 years."

Under its new name of Techport Australia, the maritime construction precinct will be marketed today at the Pacific Maritime and Naval Expo in Sydney.

Techport Australia is owned by the Port Adelaide Maritime Corporation, which the Adelaide Advertiser says is "under the control of" the ex-Halliburton Chief.  Fletcher told the newspaper that one of his aims was to "deliver a sustainable long-term defence industry base here at Osborne".