Established in 1998 UON is the single trusted source for the design, supply and management of turnkey power, air and water solutions for the mining and resources industry.

UON has an established track record of providing dewatering services and power infrastructure to a predominantly blue chip customer base including Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and FMG.

UON supply, install and design customised power stations, power generators, air compressors and bore pumping, and water transfer systems, which are generally installed and operated in some of the harshest and physically-demanding locations in the world, being the Pilbara. Operating conditions often require equipment to withstand temperatures of fifty degrees and above, cyclonic conditions, and heavy wet weather.

A high profile contract

UON’s established track record helped them secure their involvement in what is currently one of the biggest mining projects in Western Australia, the North Star Magnetite Iron Ore Project.

UON signed a $9.8 million contract with IB Operations Pty Ltd (“IB”) for the installation of a permanent power station which will power the mining activities on the Iron Ore Bridge site, a joint venture between FMG Magnetite Pty Ltd and Formosta Steel IB Pty Ltd.

To secure their involvement supplying into the project UON required performance and warranty bonds.

While UON’s bank, Westpac, was supportive of this important opportunity, it could not issue the bonds without full collateral in the form of cash or assets, as UON had reached its limit on bank guarantees.

Providing full cash security would meant UON would not havesufficient working capital to satisfy the financial requirements to secure this contract. Westpac suggested UON approach Export Finance Australia.

Export Finance Australia allowed us to take on this important project with FMG, which is integral to get the Northstar mine running. We were at our credit limit with Westpac and this opportunity may have been missed or gone without the ability to raise the bonding.

Simon Chesson, Director, UON

How we helped

We provided UON with performance and warranty bonds to cover UON’s obligations under the North Star Magnetite Iron Ore Project and helped it use its existing bank guarantee lines to fund other mining related contracts.

This project is a major milestone for UON, as there is the opportunity to secure ongoing service and maintenance work for this project with FMG. In addition, it will give the company significant exposure to target future growth and expansion opportunities, including providing their dewatering services and power infrastructure to the Nickel and Gold industries.

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