COERCO is widely known for manufacturing industry-leading poly tanks and for its strong foundations in the agricultural industry.
However, the company has significantly expanded its scope over the last three decades to provide holistic project delivery services to the mining industry, from expert
consulting, system design and engineering, right through to the manufacture and
delivery of specialised equipment. The West Australian company, formerly called Rapid Plastics, has come a long way since 1994 when it largely supplied to the animal and stock markets.
It was not long before COERCO was fielding enquiries from mining clients who had
heard about its commitment to a high level of quality and the niche it had carved itself
as a result of its comprehensive customer service.
Over the last 27 years, the company has built up the widest range of liquid management
products in Australasia.
But it is not just COERCO’s vast product range that has made it invaluable to mining,
civil and heavy industry clients.
Australian Mining Review General Manager, Trevor Pickett, spoke to COERCO’s Industrial
Sales Manager, Gareth Wallis and Business Development Manager, Daniel Rignall about
how the company has also spent the last three decades developing an unmatched
understanding of all aspects of liquid management and storage.
Whether it be storage or supporting infrastructure for liquid transfer or pumping
operations, Gareth explains how this solid understanding has paved the way for
COERCO to provide holistic project solutions from small custom-made products to
complete turnkey packages.
Diverse Product Range
COERCO is a derivative of a Latin word, which means to surround, encompass or
The company can take care of all aspects of liquid management and storage – covering
prefabricated and customised solutions for process water, potable water, chemicals and
Its broad range of solutions can be divided into three main divisions: water and
chemical processing; dewatering; and civil construction.
It can provide specialised pump support systems for tailings, decant and process
water operations—including but not limited to—pontoons, strainers and intakes, pipe/
cable float systems, floating walkways, and access gangways.
Areas of specialisation also include oil, sludge and fuel storage, specialist transport
equipment for mining operations and plants, as well dust suppression systems,
water delivery and trailer mounted units for civil construction.
Mining clients work in high pressure, time poor, highly dynamic environments with
multiple suppliers, competing internal demands and deadlines. COERCO can assist
in both initial project construction and mine maintenance by simplifying the demands
of finding reliable, engineered liquid management solutions.
With its unique project delivery pathway, COERCO works closely with clients to
understand the project environment and de-risk projects of safety concerns, product
failure and downtime.
“Our large product base allows us to quickly turn around solutions as required,” Daniel
“If something does not fit the requirement as our standard offering, we have the ability
to customise and engineer a solution.
“We are agile throughout the process from start to finish and this allows us to offer the
client shorter lead times because what we’re supplying is within specifications, in a very
“When the goal posts of a project move, as they inevitably do in mining, we have the
ability to move with them.
“Although we have direct competition in the different facets of what we do, we are the
only ones to bring it all together and offer the complete service.’’
For example, a mining camp may need industrial process tanks, fuel transport,
a sewage and wastewater management solution and a pontoon pump system.
COERCO can provide a single point of contact for all of these requirements to
save the client from engaging with multiple suppliers.
“Our vertical integration model for project delivery including in-house design and
engineering, raw polyethylene processing, moulding and steel fabrication, allows us to
pass on cost savings otherwise sapped up in middlemen processes,” Gareth said.
“We alleviate the friction in the project delivery phase by managing sections of the overall scope that are often left unattended until they are time critical.”
COERCO has the expertise to navigate complex regulations and compliance
requirements such as those that exist around the installation of septic systems.
‘’Septic tank regulations, such as those that deal with environmental assessments, can
actually impede overall project delivery times. Because it’s what we do, we are able
to satisfy the requirements quickly because we don’t need to go away and work it out.
Project engineers might be doing this sort of work intermittently whereas we are doing it
every day, so we have the ability to get the client what they need, when they want it.’’
COERCO has predominantly been a poly-based product manufacturer, most
commonly known for manufacturing poly tanks.
But it has widened its scope over the years to service the mining and heavy industrial
markets and has also moved into steel fabrication to support the poly product
It has three factories in WA with its main poly manufacturing facility and head office
in Dalwallinu, which is about 250km north of Perth and ideally situated to service the
mines in the Pilbara and northern areas.
The two other factories in Northam and Bunbury are predominantly for steel
It also has an office in Malaga, to better service the needs of mining companies,
many of which are headquartered in Perth.
Polyethylene inherently has a longer service life than alternative materials and is still
predominant in COERCO’s product offering.
“We continually invest in finding solutions to project requirements and our capacity
in hybrid manufacturing processes (PE and steel) allows us to customise to greater
extents than a traditional supplier,” Daniel said.
“A manufacturer who is just doing poly would then have to look for someone to
align themselves with, or the reverse.
‘’We can integrate and customize a lot of what we do to greater extents than others
might be able to.’’
COERCO employs a diverse team of 110 fulltime staff at multiple locations throughout
As well as an operations team in its poly manufacturing and steel fabrication
facilities, COERCO has its own in-house modifications team including a team of 10
qualified polyethylene welders who focus on customising products based on clients’
A highly skilled design and engineering team, including chartered engineers and
draftsmen backed by a team of project managers, allows COERCO to meet the everchanging requirements of resource and mining projects.
Its technical expertise in Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Computational Fluid
Dynamics (CFD) allows the team to address complex engineering design problems and
de-risk project delivery.
The sales team come from a variety of backgrounds including specialist supply
to the oil and gas industry and the mining resource sectors, which brings a wealth of
relevant experience to tackle challenges faced by clients.
An in-house team of 16 logistics management and transport operators manages COERCO’s specialised transport fleet, so it does not rely on third parties.
Last but not least, management is the same as it was 27 years ago, therefore the
company has a great deal of combined experience, stability and longevity.
‘’Key stakeholders of the company are still involved on a day-to-day basis,’’ Daniel said.
“We are still a family-run WA business that has been around for 30 years and it is a very
close-knit team with a great culture.
‘’This allows us to be flexible and responsive to change.’’
A Total Solution
COERCO’s diverse team and the wealth of experience and knowledge it is able to draw
on means the company is much more than solely a tank manufacturer.
It can offer a complete service, from the feasibility stage right up to and including
the delivery of specialised equipment that has been custom designed and manufactured in-house.
COERCO is in its element when it is assisting EPC companies to complete turnkey projects
by simplifying the demands of finding reliable, engineered liquid management solutions.
COERCO can prepare budget estimates, data, engineering and 3D drawings to prepare feasibility studies and a scope of works.
‘’We have fully chartered engineers and draftsmen who have the skills needed to
keep the entire package managed in-house,’’ Daniel said.
‘’We can also assist the client’s designers and help them with writing specifications and
support their teams to support sections of the scope of works.
‘’We can provide the scope within the specifications required, adhering to all the
regulations and standards.
‘’We often do jobs for clients that they need doing at the last minute when they’re
scrambling to piece a project together.
‘’Their resources are much better applied to what they are good at to ensure the
deliverables for the client are met or exceeded.
‘’No two projects are the same so there is a lot of customisation required and design and
engineering work behind that.
‘’So the client can literally hand us a section of the project and say: ‘We want something
that suits XYZ parameters’ and we will go away and provide them a complete package
based on that.’’
The in-house management of the total solution in house—consultation, design,
engineering, fabrication, compliance and even delivery to the most remote mine
sites means far better control over project timelines and costs.
‘’We manage the whole scope and we have our own transport fleet so we can deliver
the products to site and manage all the logistics.’’
‘’Since we have total control over every stage of development from design and
engineering through to manufacture and delivery, we use a range of specialised
• Polymer processing and moulding machinery
• Steel fabrication workshops
• Polyethylene welding machines
• Ultrasonic thickness and static hydro testing equipment
• Specialised transport fleet
COERCO has vast experience with multiple resource companies, having completed
more than 2000 projects in multiple countries across the globe.
Location: Onslow, WA
Scope of work: Design, Manufacture, Deliver Chevron’s $34 billion Wheatstone Project
is one of Australia’s largest resource developments and the nation’s first liquified
natural gas (LNG) hub.
The foundation project consisted of two LNG trains with a combined capacity of 8.9mt per annum and a domestic gas plant.
The project was sanctioned in late 2011, with first shipment of LNG announced in
Atco Structures & Logistics were awarded the project to design, manufacture, transport
and install hundreds of modular buildings for the Accommodation Village Expansion.
Working in conjunction with Total Plumbing & Excavation, the company approached
COERCO for the supply of the underground fire protection system storage tanks,
ablution building waste tanks and potable water storage tanks.
The challenges with this project were:
• Very acidic soil conditions limiting the materials that could be used
• Extreme weather conditions – Cyclonic Region
• Remote location
• Strict time schedules
• COERCO supplied a large range of products for this project including:
• 39 x 23,000l and 11 x 7000l underground waste water storage tanks
• 12 x 8000l and 2 x 6000l waste tanks were custom built to suit the ablution buildings
• 528 x custom designed concrete containment bunds to contain the concrete from being exposed to the acidic soil condition.
• 10 x 32,000l above ground storage tanks for the fire protection system
• 34 x 9000l water storage tanks including pumps and UV filters potable water
The inventory was delivered directly to the site to eliminate the client having to deal
with any logistical issues and was performed within two weeks of site requests, which
was well within required delivery time frames.
Since this successful project, the COERCO team has worked alongside Atco and Total
Plumbing on several different projects to supply similar custom built, engineered
Groote Eyelandt Manganese Mine
Location: Gulf of Carpentaria off NT coast
Scope of work: Design, Engineer, Manufacture, Deliver Groote Eylandt open cut manganese mine, which is situated on an island about 50km from the Northern Territory mainland,
was commissioned in 1965 and now produces over 15% of the world’s total
Darwin company Mawpump, which has been supplying to the island mine for nearly
three decades with pumps, ancillary water and waste products were approached by
Gemco to supply and install a pontoon mounted pump set and a floating walkway.
The challenges with this project were:
• Remote location
• Working offsite relying on information provided from personnel onsite
• Extreme conditions – limited access, high salinity
Mawpump engaged COERCO to design, engineer and deliver a turnkey package
including a compliant pontoon and floating walkway to complement their pump set and
The project consisted of a pontoon capable of carrying a 12t live load, a 33m of
walkway and a 12m gangway.
All products were commissioned in Darwin and then sent on the five-day trip to site.
Since this project, Mawpump have continued to procure similar products from
the COERCO team. With our in-house design and engineering team at the forefront of
each of these projects, COERCO can ensure the entire package is not only compliant
but also provides quick installation and a long-term solution which is commercially
Location: Southern Laos, South East Asia
Scope of work: Design, manufacture, deliver MMG Sepon is an open-pit copper mine
located in the Savannakhet Province in Southern Laos.
COERCO was approached by international mining company MMG Limited for the
supply of hundreds of 315mm Pipe Floats for the mine.
The challenges with this project were:
• Very tight lead times present
COERCO supplied underground waste water storage tanks and other solutions for fire
protection and water storage at Chevron’s Wheatstone project.
COERCO was approached by international mining company MMG Limited for the supply of
hundreds of 315mm Pipe Floats for the mine.
• The aspect of organising sea and road freight from one continent to a very remote location in another country added an extra layer to an already big challenge.
• With quality concerns around poor products that MMG had experienced in the past, COERCO knew it needed to go the extra mile to prove it was, and continues to be, a standout company with the unique capability to blend manufacturing quality products with
Not one to back out from a challenge, COERCO worked 24 hours a day.
In order to complete the project within the required timeframe, new moulds were
constructed to manufacture the requested amount of pipe floats.
Splitting the orders into container loads, COERCO consistently and regularly delivered
products fresh out of the mould as soon as they were completed.
All pipe floats were carefully packed for export. Specialized fixings made to suit the
client’s requirements were also supplied and were given as much careful assessment
as the pipe floats.
Within the span of eight weeks, a total of 992 pipe floats made their way towards
their intended destination in Southern Laos – all strong, intact, and ready to last a long
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