Powering ahead with adept staff

AFTER a stellar year when ERM Power created more than 1000 jobs building four gas-fired power stations, managing director Philip St Baker, forecasts 55 per cent revenue growth in 2010.

St Baker says the company’s success is a direct result of highly-skilled, talented employees and claims ERM is never short of new initiatives or projects.

“For example, we expect to create two new generation businesses in the next 12 to 18 months, investing over $2 billion and we plan to grow our trading business many times over in the next few years as well,” he says.

“We keep our organisational structure very flat so there is little hierarchy and we can move fast and integrate solutions across the business to seize opportunities as they arise.

“Our biggest customers are the biggest retailers and consumers of electricity or electricity-related products. These include Origin Energy, Synergy, Queensland Rail, Brisbane Airport Corporation, GMH, major mines and smelters.”

With sites and offices in Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales, ERM is now Australia’s largest privately-owned energy company, having grown staff numbers almost 10-fold in the last few years.

“In terms of (staff) numbers we are still quite small at 130, up from 15 three years ago. If you include the numbers of people working on our projects at any one time you are up over 1000,” he says.

In 2007 revenue was $36 million – in 2009 it was $225 million, with $350 million expected in 2010.

ERM also runs an electricity trading business ERM Retail, which holds contracts valued at $2 billion collectively.

St Baker highlights ERM’s contribution to carbon pollution reduction, with power stations that use 90 per cent less water and produce 40 to 60 per cent less carbon emissions than Australia’s average existing station.

“For the power stations we have already developed, over their working lives, they will save approximately 100 million tonnes of carbon pollution and 9 billion litres of water when compared with the average of Australia’s electricity generators.”

ERM’s latest completed project was the Braemar 2 Power Station on August 25, in partnership with Arrow Energy.


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