By Eliza Booth, Assistant Editor, Pump Industry Magazine
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, also known as coronavirus, are being felt all over the world, with countries in lockdown, positive diagnoses increasing and major shocks to economies, including Australia’s.
The story is changing rapidly, with new developments each day. Pump Industry is keeping a close eye on these changes and will inform you as they’re happening.
This article will be updated as more current information comes to light.
Surat Gas Project to begin construction in 2020
Construction of the Surat Gas Project (SGP) is set to begin in 2020 in southern Queensland, after Arrow Energy sanctioned the first phase of the $10 billion project.
Government responds to industry call for essential service status
Members of the National Cabinet have responded to a letter sent by Pump Industry Australia (PIA) calling for the pump sector to be declared an essential service in all Australian states and territories.
Industry calls for Australia’s pump sector to be declared an essential service
Pump Industry Australia (PIA) has sent a letter to the Prime Minister and National Cabinet calling for the government to declare the pump sector as an essential service, to ensure pump companies can continue to operate in the event of stricter lockdown measures. The PIA notes that currently the sector is considered an essential service only in NSW, and is seeking this to apply in all states and territories.
Resources and energy exports surge forecast
Australia’s resource and energy export earnings are forecast to set a record of $299 billion in 2019-20, an increase of $18 billion from 2018-19, and will play an important role in helping the Australian economy bounce back from COVID-19.
COVID-19 begins impacting the Australian pumps sector
The first cases of the novel coronavirus were identified in Wuhan, China, in late 2019 before other cases outside of China started to be confirmed from January 2020.
On 11 March the World Health Organization (WHO) characterised COVID-19 as a pandemic.
As of 17 March 2020, there have been 401 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia. Of the confirmed cases, five people have tragically died.
On the morning of 16 March, Victoria and the ACT declared states of emergency, with the national and global focus now on slowing the spread of the virus.
The COVID-19 outbreak is already having an effect on pump businesses, especially those that rely on imported products and components.
The Australian industry is seeing a shortage of containers and vessel space, and there is a high chance of global supply chain disruption as factories in the US, Europe and Asia are forced to temporarily close down to help contain the spread of the virus.
This could cause issues in Australia as companies are already low on some supplies following the fires. These difficulties are expected to cause issues for the next few months at the least.
Companies are also suspending some, if not all travel and the need for minimising large crowded gatherings this is resulting in the cancelling or postponing of events and conferences. Events like the Air conditioning, Refrigeration Building Services Exhibition (ARBS) have been postponed and some events are considering digital-based attendance for delegates.
This is a rapidly developing story. More to come.