2020 Outback tour

Instead, it turned about to be yet another triumph of human will. Our host Matt Taylor set out a demanding, uncompromising itinerary. First assignment was the annihilation of acres of thistle and the aptly named Patterson’s Curse. This was to restore native grasses that are starting to flourish in white box woodlands being restored at Bush Heritage’s Tarcutta Hills Reserve. Next stop was Scottsdale, a Reserve Jord first conquered in 2017. To get there, we enjoyed an exhilarating alpine drive across the remote Kosciuszko Highway. Scottsdale saw Jord’s crew divided into two teams to compete in a heavy duty tree guard assembly race. Blisters aplenty gave us tokens to fondly recall for weeks after. Then came tree planting, some 250 or so, along the banks of the bushfire-ravaged Murrumbidgee River. The weekend finished with a white water
canoe challenge. Normally classified as Category 2 (moderate medium), the river was assessed on the day – by a learned Simon Cobden – as Category 5 (very violent).

Hyperbole aside, it was a great adreniline rush to end a mighty fine weekend out with colleagues in the bush, having fun whilst “doing some good” for environmental diversity and sustainability.


Jord commits $290,000 for marine conservation project

Indonesia’s Bintan Island may lie adjacent to the busiest shipping lane in the world. But its tropical waters, miraculously, support an extraordinary variety of underwater habitat. These in turn provide a nursery for the likes of dugongs, dolphins, otters, turtles and many hundreds of fish species.

As with most marine environments, this habitat is under siege due to over-fishing, pollution and high sedimentation from adjacent illegal mining & forest clearing.

Jord’s Foundation team has uncovered one of those rare opportunities to get in on the ground floor of what will become an environmental program of international renown. An 1,815sq km area, over two times the size of Singapore, has been designated a Marine Protected Area. Jord has signed up as a founding partner, committing $290,000 over a three year period. Two stages of this program are now complete. The first entailed a detailed marine survey, lead by Conservation International’s (CI’s) marine biologists’ Dr Mark Erdmann and Dr Gerald Allen. This survey identified an extraordinary 425 different fish species, including multiple rare ones & a few totally new to science. It also established areas where the habitat requires a high level of protection, and others that can support sustainable fishing for the local villagers.

The 2nd stage involved engaging with a team from the Indonesian Government, universities and the local community and eco-resorts, to establish a management plan that not only protects the marine environment,but also provides long term sustainable development for local communities.

With these two stages now complete, our attention is focussed on executing the management plan. Just as we do with our Bush Heritage collaboration, there will be lots of opportunity for Jord staff to directly participate in supporting this Bintan MPA project over the coming years. This is a very special part of the world. And – once this pesky virus abates – being located so close to Singapore makes it readily accessible to us all. In addition to the 425 species of fish, you might see green sea turtles, hawksbill, turtles, dugongs, irrawaddy dolphins, otters and for the true believers, endless numbers of marine invertebrates,molluscs and crustacea – some unique and endemic to this area. Accomodation is not unacceptable either,with a number of island based eco-resorts operating within the MPA.


Success out the back of Bourke

As a metaphor for a place far from anywhere, “back of Bourke” was coined for a reason. It took an hours flight from Sydney and a four hour drive just to get to Bourke. Then another two hours on mostly dirt
roads to get to the “back” of it. Which was Bush Heritage’s Naree Reserve. Such a trip rewards those determined enough to get there with a rich experience. And so it proved for Jord’s annual Bush Heritage weekend of R&R, team bonding and a chance to “do some good”.

The birdlife at Naree is astonishing. We saw loads of parrots, raptors, martins and swallows. There were pigeons and songbirds too, which we struggled to identify without Bush Heritage staff to help. We only saw a few roos, due to the drought. But plenty of feral goats and pigs. And that was where Jord comes in. We don’t know much botany or zoology at Jord, but we can construct and demolish things OK. So, armed with pliers & posts, drivers & wire strainers, we set about helping Reserve Manager Greg Carroll repair a dilapidated feral goat trap.

Our dozen intrepid travellers toiled hard in the searing heat to erect this feral goat trap. Their efforts were not in vain. The below image features an ecstatic Reserve Manager Greg Carroll, herding goats onto a truck with a few mates. They’re being rounded up 30 at a time, irrefutable proof that Jord’s bullet-proof trap works a treat!

Jord’s visit was at the back end of the worst drought in living memory. Since then, both rains and floodwaters have restored this parched earth. So its never been more important to keep the ferals off, to allow native bush regeneration to flourish.


A look back at 2021

With the COVID pandemic continuing, it was another big year for the Jord Group. Despite the uncertainty and challenges in business conditions, we managed to execute and deliver to our clients’ requirements and built a healthy backlog of new work to establish a strong foundation for the new year. Here are a few of our favourite things from 2021.

Securing a contract under the Supplier Innovation Program Challenge

Jord was awarded the first contract from BHP under their Supplier Innovation Program Challenge that was launched in partnership with Austmine. In January, Jord signed a Collaborative Agreement with BHP to design and construct the first prototype of its idea, working hand-in-hand with the maintenance team at BMA’s Caval Ridge Mine, near Moranbah in Queensland. Jord’s idea is a safer way to perform maintenance on filter presses that remove moisture from coal rejects at the wash plant.

Expanding our footprint and continuing to diversify

We secured new orders across industries and geographies, including: a 155 MMSCFD high temperature sour gas TEG dehydration unit and fuel gas treatment unit in the Middle East; a horizontal vacuum belt filter for the Sukari gold mine paste plant in Egypt; a significant contract to provide replacement up-rated boiler safety relief valves to a major Australian power generation supplier; the design and supply of two O-frame modularised HRSG’s installed behind Siemens SGT-800-57 GTs as part of a new 120MWe cogen plant in South East Asia; and our clean air division started delivering low energy venturi scrubbers in the agricultural sector, building on five decades of experience in mineral and chemical processing applications.

We also completed projects, including: delivering a combined lube oil and hydraulic module to the 1,650 MW Bismayah III CCPP in Baghdad; four topside modules to be installed on an offshore gas processing facilities in the North Sea; and we were excited to see the first crystals produced at BHP Nickel West, having designed and supplied the crystalliser to achieve the purity levels required for lithium-ion batteries.

Giving back to the community

Jord contributes a percentage of group profit each year to the Jord Environment Trust (JET Foundation) which has a mandate to donate funds to causes that foster a biologically diverse and sustainable planet. Through 2021, our total distributed funds exceeded $1 million and our people spent significant time providing pro-bono support. We provided ongoing support to two strategic organisations that align with our values: Bush Heritage Australia for environmental regeneration and Conservation International for establishment of a 700 sq km marine park in Indonesia.

Investing in research and development

We became an official industry partner of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Enabling Eco-Efficient Beneficiation of Minerals. The centre aims to transform Australia’s minerals industry through research around three key goals: increase energy and water productivity; improve mineral recovery; and train a new generation of research leaders to support the sector. As a partner, our minerals processing team is working with Laureate Professor Kevin Galvin and his team at the University of Newcastle to deliver new technologies at full scale in the industry.

Supporting clients remotely

Through the continuing COVID pandemic, remote inspections have helped us to overcome the challenge of having geographically dispersed teams and international clients. We undertake remote inspections by video link, which involves a local Quality Control inspector moving a camera very methodically around the modules in the fabrication workshop. A key benefit we discovered was that remote inspections allow us to refer to all the available engineering information in the office – such as the 3D model and P&IDs – at the same time that we are inspecting the equipment, resulting in more thorough collaborative reviews in real time.

Human resources industry leadership

Jord Head of People and Culture, Erin Collins was announced as a finalist for the Knowledge Access Leadership Award, which recognises best-in-class industry leadership from right around the world. Erin has developed and executed the people and culture plan, managed organisational change, supported innovation and continuous improvement.

One of our human resource highlights in 2021 was the annual internal conference. Despite being held online, it was one of the most successful conferences in the history of the company. The Olympics-themed conference sparked our competitive spirit. It involved teams from all major global offices delivering presentations to their colleagues, with some major team prizes at stake.

As 2021 draws to a close, we would like to thank all of our customers, suppliers, colleagues, friends and families for their ongoing support. We hope that everyone has a wonderful and safe break. We look forward to seeing you in 2022 when we celebrate our 50-year anniversary.


Jord funds establishment of Bintan Marine Protected Area

The commitment comprises AUD $290,000 of funding over a three-year period as well as pro-bono support services from Jord staff. It represents a significant milestone for this initiative to protect critical marine and fishery resources in the country.

The Indonesian Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs formally established the Bintan Marine Protected Area (Bintan MPA) in Riau Islands Province by signing the Decree on March 18. It was officially enacted in the Government Gazette on April 5, 2022.

This initiative has been led by the Marine and Fisheries Agency of the Riau Islands Province with partners including Konservasi Indonesia (a national foundation) as Conservation International’s main partner in country, and an emerging local not-for-profit on Bintan Island named Yayasan Ecology Kepulauan Riau (YEKR) comprising residents of Bintan who had already been organising community conservation initiatives. Jord’s funding will be used to support this effort.

There is plenty here to protect. The natural shoreline around the islands in the MPA is relatively undisturbed and the coastal waters support reefs of spectacular colour and diversity. Currently, 109 birds, 12 mammals, 21 reptiles, 276 marine fishes, 202 marine invertebrates, and 62 plant species have been recorded on or around the islands. Two species of sea turtles have been documented: the green sea turtles EN (Chelonia mydas) and the rarer hawksbill turtle CR (Eretmochelys imbricata). Also present are dugong VU (Dugong dugon), Irrawaddy dolphins EN (Orcaella brevirostris) and Asian small-clawed otters VU (Amblonyx cinerea). These ecological assets represent a significant tourism revenue opportunity for local communities as travel resumes in the region.

The existence of this MPA will preserve existing marine and fishery resources that contribute to the surrounding communities’ welfare and align with the Province Government’s mission to ensure the ecological sustainability of further maritime-based economic development.

Starting with an initial rapid marine assessment in 2020, the Province Government of Riau Islands and partners conducted community consultations and multiple rounds of detailed planning and negotiations to arrive at a newly established MPA of 138.5K hectares with support from national government and local communities.

However, the establishment of the MPA is not the end of the road. From this point, the team will embark upon a new phase of work focused on strengthening the Management Body of the MPA, establishing the Management Plan, and ensuring that the MPA is properly protected. The vision and expectation is for local communities to derive a net benefit from the MPA though new and sustainable sources of income.


Nurturing the Night Parrot

An arid patch of ground some 1,500 km north-west of Brisbane hit global headlines in 2013, with the exciting re-discovery of the Night Parrot, a nocturnal ground dwelling parrot previously thought extinct. The previous living specimen was identified back in 1912.
The Night Parrot has since been placed on the list of 20 priority bird species, as part of the Federal Government’s Threatened Species Strategy. In 2016, Bush Heritage jumped at the chance to help nurture the species survival, acquiring the property where the discovery was made and establishing the Pullen Pullen Reserve. Traditional owners of this 56,000 ha land are the Maiawali people.
In 2020, Jord in turn is delighted to participate, with agreement to contribute $150,000 and associated pro-bono hours from interested staff, towards the establishment of an Arid Zone Conservation Base on the property. This facility will provide accommodation and storage infrastructure to facilitate land management and research activities on the reserve.
Included in this scope is the supply and installation of a 14.5kW solar RAP station.


Protecting the environment through our foundation

In honour of World Environment Day, we spoke to CEO Angus Holden and General Manager of Ideas Nipen Shah about the Jord Environment Trust (also known as “JET Foundation”) and the special causes it supports. 

The JET Foundation was established in 2007 with a charter to donate funds to causes that foster a biologically diverse and sustainable planet. Jord contributes a percentage of group profit each year to the fund and $2 million has been raised to date.

Watch to learn more

Thanks to our friends at Bush Heritage Australia for the video footage.


Back of Bourke

As a metaphor for a place far from anywhere, “back of Bourke” was coined for a reason. It took an hours flight and a four hour drive just to get to Bourke. Then another two hours on mostly dirt roads to get to the “back” of it. Which was Bush Heritage’s Naree Reserve.

Such a trip rewards those with determination to get there with a rich experience. And so it proved for Jord’s annual Bush Heritage weekend of R&R, team bonding and a chance to “do some good”.

This part of the country is hard to get your head around, even for us Aussies. It’s tough and unforgiving. The ruins of local town Yantabulla, whose last resident left in 2000, shows that a modern lifestyle is not possible. But the archaeological evidence shows this land supported humanity for thousands of years. And the birdlife is astonishing. We saw loads of parrots, raptors, martins and swallows. There were pigeons and songbirds too, which we struggled to identify without Bush Heritage staff to help.

We only saw a few roos, due to the drought. But plenty of feral goats and pigs. And this is where Jord comes in. We don’t have much botany or zoology knowledge at Jord, but we can construct and demolish things OK. So, armed with pliers & posts, drivers & wire strainers, we set about helping Reserve Manager Greg Carroll repair a feral goat trap. We now defy any goat to escape our fully refurbished, maximum security, goat pen.

Once done, we cooled off alongside & in a waterhole that made the Yangtze look like a crystal clear mountain brook. Then, after a good country square meal, we adjourned to the campfire to tell tall stories over a few beverages. And to play a strange card game our Dutch colleagues brought with them. It appeared to have no rules…


Searching for Planigals

This fourth instalment of Jord’s annual Bush Heritage weekend involved 19 of us flying to its 60,000 hectare Carnarvon Reserve in central Queensland. Nestled in behind the renowned Carvarvon National Park, a four hour drive southwest of Emerald, the property was purchased by Bush Heritage back in 2001. At that time it was in a seriously dilapidated state. The absence of livestock over the past 18 years has allowed the native blue grass to rebound in abundance.

Jord’s task over the weekend was hard yakka. We muscled our way through sheets of granite, using just crowbars and sweat, to instal traps that allow scientists to monitor the presence of mammals and reptiles. In particular, we were seeking Planigals, the smallest but by most accounts the fiercest of Australia’s marsupials.

Hydraulic backhoe’s are usually engaged to do this work. However, Jord’s reputation for hard work on past weekends was our undoing. The Reserve Manager selected a particularly remote location, where vehicle access was impossible. One of the toughest holes was dug by Chris, Sarah, Adi, Simon, Luke and Hammad. You can see the smashed granite, extracted so unwillingly by mother earth, piled up trophy-like before them.


Staff Working Bee, Scottsdale Reserve, NSW

The third Jord Foundation (JET) roadshow was closer to home, just a 4 hour drive southwest of Sydney, to Scottsdale, a 1,300 hectare Bush Heritage property nestled on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River.

Our assignment this weekend was to plant a couple of hundred snow gum and acacia trees, to rehabilitate land that had been emaciated by the dreaded Lovegrass. Never has a weed been more inappropriately named. Introduced from Africa to stabilise eroding watercourse banks from land that had been overgrazed, it soon took over the entire property, at the exclusion of all else. Worse still, no animal, neither wild nor domestic, will eat it. A second task was to remove a few hundred metres of firmly entrenched rabbit proof fencing,. Much blood, sweat and tears went into this task, sated only by the prodigious consumption of food and beverages that evening.

Short but spectacular storms throughout this work did not damp our spirits, slow our work, nor quench the evenings bonfire. But those storms did excite the photography enthusiasts amongst us. Thanks to our host Phil Palmer and his delightful family, our Tour Guide Matt Taylor for his wit and patience in sheparding us around, and to our JET spiritual leader Simon Cobden for his effort in coordinating the various projects we have on with Bush Heritage at the moment