Komatsu Australia has started work on a major new state-of-the-art service and rebuild centre in Port Hedland, Western Australia, servicing the Pilbara region’s massive iron ore mining industry. The ground-breaking ceremony for the new centre was on February 25, with the facility scheduled to be opened in late 2014.

Situated on 9000 square metres of land, the 1300 square metre facility will replace the current Port Hedland branch, becoming Komatsu’s West Pilbara rebuild centre and parts warehouse.

The new centre has been designed to handle rebuilds of ultra-class mining equipment including up to 290-tonne capacity 930E electric drive dump trucks and WA1200 wheel loaders – of which there are sizeable Komatsu fleets in the region.

Elements of the new service branch include:

  • Two high bay mining spec workshops
  • A wash bay
  • 7000 square metre yard
  • 25-tonne capacity overhead crane
  • Parts warehouse, including mezzanine storage
  • Customer Support Office.

Komatsu’s Pilbara operations are a significant part of the company’s global operations, with more than 900 Komatsu machines operating in the Pilbara.

The Pilbara is also the location of the first major fleet of Komatsu’s breakthrough Autonomous Haulage System of driverless trucks that the company is deploying with Rio Tinto.

According to Komatsu Australia’s managing director Sean Taylor, the Pilbara is a world-class mining precinct, which represents a significant portion of Komatsu Australia’s business. “It’s home to our autonomous haulage fleet and has one of the largest population of electric drive mining dump trucks anywhere in the world.

“It makes sense that we continue to invest in our capacity and capability in the Pilbara, to ensure we continue to provide the support our customers are asking for. Our investment goes beyond just bricks and mortar – we are also investing heavily in technical training so that our customers are assured that they are dealing with the experts when it comes to maintaining their machines.”

In addition to the new Port Hedland facility under construction, Komatsu also has a branch in Newman to service the East Pilbara. It has a team of 60 staff based in the Pilbara, plus an additional FIFO team of 50 staff.

The new centre will be one element of Komatsu’s largest ever expansion in Australia, a program which started with the opening of its flagship facility in Wacol, Brisbane in 2012.

The 61,000 square metre Wacol facility was a $55 million investment incorporating Komatsu Australia’s Queensland head office, its national mining headquarters, East Coast Reman operation, oil analysis labs, plus mining, construction and utility assembly operations, as well as parts and service.

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