Sharp rise in engineering investment

THE value of heavy industry activity in Queensland reached an all-time high of $9.9 billion in the 2010-11 financial year.

Latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that is a 55% increase from 2009-10 and is equivalent to 18% of engineering construction activity value in Australia.

An increase of $3.5 billion in 2009-10 was driven by increases in oil, gas and other hydrocarbons (+$2.7 billion) and coal and coal handling (+$780 million) which has continued to grow substantially.

In each year from 2002-03 to 2006-07, less than $100 million worth of activity was reported for this asset type.

Activity increased to just more than $200 million in 2007-08 and 2008-09 before rising to $700 million in 2009-10.

In 2010-11, oil, gas and other hydrocarbons activity spiked to $3.4 billion, a total greater than the previous 24 years combined.

Coal and coal handling activity has risen each year between 2007-08 and 2010-11 at a steadier rate, from $2.6 billion to $5.1 billion, with $600 million the smallest annual increase between 2008-09 and 2009-10.

An ABS analyst, who published a feature article on the topic on Wednesday, said the whole of Australia was experiencing a sharp rise in private investment in engineering construction activity to deliver an increased capacity for producing oil, natural gas, coal, iron ore, bauxite, alumina, aluminium and other resources as part of the resources boom.

The analyst concluded the high level of engineering construction activity in the resources sector would continue "for some time", noting the value of heavy industry work yet to be done had reached its second highest estimate ever of $92.6 billion in the March, 2012, quarter.

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