BHP Billiton will introduce the successful ‘Local Buying Program’ to New South Wales, giving hundreds of local small to medium business owners the opportunity to bid for work with its Mt Arthur Coal mine.
The Local Buying Program has been in place at BHP Billiton’s Queensland coal operations since 2012, where it has more than 650 businesses registered and has resulted in thousands of contracts being awarded to local vendors, worth more than $60million.
Local businesses in the Hunter Valley can now register to be the first to know of upcoming supply opportunities with Mt Arthur Coal, which initially developed its local procurement principles as part of its Policy on Buying Locally, introduced in 2013.
Small to medium-sized businesses will have the opportunity to hear more about the Program and determine whether they meet the eligibility criteria at upcoming information sessions in Muswellbrook, Singleton and Scone.
NSW Energy Coal Asset President James Palmer said smaller businesses could sometimes find it challenging to engage with BHP Billiton as a supplier.
“For many years, local businesses have participated in existing supply and procurement processes, but we want to make it simpler and easier for them to competitively bid for opportunities to supply goods and services to our Mt Arthur Coal operation,” he said.
“Given the success of the Local Buying Program in Queensland, it seemed obvious that we should expand it to the Hunter Valley where small businesses are finding innovative ways to evolve in what is a difficult global market.
“Mt Arthur Coal is a significant contributor to the local economy, having investing more than $85m in the Hunter Valley last year.
“From my time in Queensland I saw first-hand how valuable this program can be and I’m looking forward to the implementation here over the coming weeks,” Mr Palmer said.
One of the keys to the Local Buying Program’s success is the online portal, used by both local businesses and BHP Billiton to communicate about upcoming supply opportunities.
The online directory allows local businesses to showcase their business capability and capacity, with the flexibility to update their profile as required to ensure their details are always current.
BHP Billiton will host information sessions for local businesses who are interested in participating in the NSW Local Buying Program on the following dates and times:
DATE: Tuesday 15 March
TIME: 6.00pm to 7.30pm
LOCATION: Scone RSL Club (71 Guernsey St, Scone)
To register for one of these sessions, local businesses are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org with the names of their attendees by close of business on Friday 11 March 2016. The Local Buying Program is delivered by C-Res, a cost neutral entity formed in 2012 specifically to coordinate the day-to-day deliverables of the Program. C-Res liaises with local suppliers and BHP Billiton users of the Program.
Local businesses will have the opportunity to meet with C-Res representatives during the upcoming information sessions. More information about Mt Arthur Coal can be found at www.bhpbilliton.com.