WA project uses chiller unit to address the skill shortage in the resource sector


Summit Matsu Chillers supplied the chiller unit to Challenger Tafe who are the hosts of the Australian Centre for Energy and Process Training (ACEPT) project in the WA.  The facility used by Challenger Tafe will partner with the chiller unit in this project in aim of reducing the skill shortage currently being experienced in the resource sector.  This is intended to be achieved by providing the equipment, the facility and qualified teachers that will train students and employees in the necessary skills that will be used in the resource industry.

The importance of Western Australia’s Resource Sector

From 2008 to 2009 the petroleum and mineral industry in WA was worth $73.1 billion which was a 19% improvement from 2007.  Furthermore in the last 10 years the resource industry has averaged an annual growth rate of 15%, so last years growth was above average, not to mention impressive considering the economic environment.  The resource sector made up 89% ($77.5 billion) towards WA’s total merchandise exports from 2008 to 2009. 

The importance of WA’s contribution to the resource sector is emphasised as it makes up 49% of Australia’s total sales of minerals and petroleum. In order for the resources industry to reach its maximum growth potential, training is essential.

About the facility

The ACEPT project, hosted by Challenger Tafe is located in Henderson, South of Fremantle and has been jointly funded by the Australian government contributed, the West Australian Government, and private industry.  ACEPT is the leading provider of process operations training, Australian Qualifications Training Framework (AQTF) qualifications for the oil and gas, mineral and chemical processing industries.  ACEPT’S standard courses are nationally recognised and ACEPT also offers customised training courses to meet the needs of individual company’s world wide.

Oil and gas facility training using a Summit Matsu Chiller Unit

The air cooled chiller unit that Challenger Tafe purchased from Summit Matsu Chillers is planned to begin operating half way through 2010 for use in their distillation column at the oil and gas facility.  The distillation column at ACEPT is a scaled down version of a commercial distillation column.  The distillation column was designed and built in Canada where chiller units are not required because the climate is vastly different.  Australia’s harsh and hot conditions required a chiller unit to prevent over heating, and to maintain proper operation of the column.  The distillation column is situated outside in direct sun light so it absorbs too much solar radiation, so the chiller unit will overcome this problem by keeping the temperature low so the distillation column can function efficiently. 

An example of the distillation columns training use for instance is for students to distil methanol.  In the distillation process, the chiller unit and heat exchanger provides cool water to a particular piece of the apparatus in order for the column to maintain the constant temperature required for the distillation of methanol to take place. 

As the Challenger Tafe Oil and Gas facility is situated in Western Australia it has been convenient to use local chiller manufacturer Summit Matsu Chillers when purchasing the chiller unit.  A local manufacturer is also on the same time zone and has engineering backup and support for any issues with installation or commissioning which makes trouble shooting easy.  Challenger Tafe describes the equipment at ACEPT as the latest “state of the art” which makes it a project that Summit Matsu Chillers is proud to be a part of.

Variety of target employees/students

The ACEPT project has been designed for the resource sector to meet its goal of seventy thousand more workers in the resource sector by 2015.  This means the number of employees working in the resource sector must increase by a rate of 9% p.a. 

Indigenous students and women are also being targeted as part of this strategy by means such as female only courses.  ACEPT courses are also directed at Tafe students, people already working who need further training and school students.

On a global scale

The ACEPT project will make a significant contribution to Australia’s Gross Domestic Profit (GDP), by increasing the skills base available to the resource sector.


Summit Matsu Chillers were more than happy to supply the chiller unit for such an important project in Australia’s history.  The company looks forward to seeing positive results from the projects implementation, such as a rise in workers participating in the resource industry and overall positive impacts on Australia’s economy in the near by future.

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