Saunders has been operating successfully and continuously since establishment in 1951. Originally privately owned and known as V.G Saunders we are now publicly listed on the Australian Securities Exchange as Saunders International (ASX:SND). Our considerable knowledge and experience has been accumulated over 60 years in the specialised storage tank sector, and ensures we provide reliable, innovative and cost effective solutions coupled with professional, trouble free project delivery for our customers.
Establishment of the company
In the early years, we focused on the local fuel storage tank market around Sydney, with Mobil (or Vacuum oil company as they were then called), being one of our first main clients. Our portfolio of clients in the early years rapidly expanded to include most of the oil majors including BP, Shell and Ampol. In the 1960’s the company bought a plot of land in Condell Park where an office and workshop were built and this is where our headquarters and production workshop are still based. Our clients have expanded beyond the oil majors to include other organisations such as the mining companies and water boards. We are proud to say that we are still working closely with many of these organisations to create bespoke solutions for their specific project specifications. The company’s core business focus since inception has been to provide our clients with innovative and cost effective solutions to their storage requirements. Over the years there have been a number of notable milestone projects where the Saunders engineering team have produced pioneering solutions that the company can be proud of.
In 1987 we were engaged by the Tambo Water Authority to design and build an elevated water tower capable of storing 1 million litres of water at a height of 21.3 metres. Storing water at this height enabled the Water Authority to maintain constant pressure in their pipelines without the use of pumps. The Saunders engineering team provided the expertise which enabled this tower to be built. After delivering this project on time and to budget, Saunders have been engaged to construct another ten similar towers, with the most recent tower reaching a height of 32 metres and a holding capacity of 4 million litres.
We have delivered a number of significant tank builds across a wide range of environments since our establishment, which demonstrates the breadth of capabilities our skilled engineers bring to the tank industry. Our largest diameter tank to date is a 74 metre diameter water tank built for Sydney Water. This tank was built in Narellan, NSW and stands 15 metres tall. We have completed a number of acid tanks over the years for many of the resource and mining companies. Acid tanks are technically challenging from a design perspective however through a combination of innovative design features our engineering team have been able to provide our customers with solutions that are designed to reduce safety risks and improve durability of the specialised acid tanks. We recently completed our largest tank jacking project where a floor was replaced on a 65 metre diameter tank at BP in Bulwer Island. This maintenance project represents a significant achievement for Saunders, and is one that we are particularly proud of, as the entire jacking system was designed and built in-house by our expert team.
With the combined knowledge and experience gained over our extensive portfolio of projects, the company has naturally transitioned to the delivery of larger and more complex solutions for our clients, including terminal expansions, engineering procurement, construction and management. We have completed a number of terminal expansions, including the delivery of a nine tank, 110 million litre facility in Port Botany. More recently we have delivered two terminal expansions for Terminals Pty Ltd:
- A ten tank, 35 million litre facility in Port Botany, and
- An eight tank, 85 million litre facility in Adelaide
Our engineering procurement, construction and management capabilities have expanded our expertise and knowledge base. Our most significant contract executed to date has been for Sydney Water where we were engaged as head contractor to deliver a construction package consisting of a water pumping station and elevated reservoir in Eastern creek. The project scope was inclusive of all civil, mechanical, electrical and piping works and was delivered on time with no safety reportable injuries.
Transition to public company
Another important milestone in the company’s history occurred in 2007 when we became a publicly listed company on the Australian Securities Exchange. At the time of listing we employed approximately 130 staff across the business in our corporate head office, the fabrication workshop and on our sites around the country. The business has grown steadily since its initial public offering, and now boasts an annual turnover of $69 million, with a market capitalisation of $70 million at the 2014 financial year end. Our employee numbers have now grown to more than 200. Our continued focus on engineering excellence and the delivery of turnkey project solutions will ensure this steady growth continues well into the future.