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Three years ago, Territory Instruments was an industrial electrical business with two employees.

Now the business employs seven staff and offers an internationally accredited service from Darwin used by some of the giants of the oil and gas industry.

Owner and managing director Stuart Kenny bought the business in 2018 and has transformed it into a world-class supply, installation and calibration service for instrumentation equipment.

Stuart, who has lived in the Territory for 22 years and worked in the cattle industry before roles servicing the resource and defence sectors, knows the Territory offers unique opportunities for local businesses.

To capitalise on this opportunity, he set about upskilling the locally owned and operated business.

He spent 18 months going through a rigorous National Association of Test Authorities (NATA) accreditation process for calibration and manufacturing to bring Territory Instruments up to Australian and international standards.

“We understand the complex nature of the facilities the INPEX team is operating, so we are focused on delivering a world-class service, sophisticated instrumentation which is delivered on time, within spec and on budget.

We have a world-class NATA accredited laboratory facility, which has just been purpose-built in Darwin to service INPEX, and an amazing team with world-class capability.”

In the past 18 months, the business has supplied products to companies in Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea. The initiative proved to be a game changer for the company, which went on to secure INPEX as a long-term client.

“INPEX is one of our top three clients in the oil and gas sector and the relationship we hold with the team there is mutually respectful,” Stuart says.

“They are focussed on our goals as a business because they want us to succeed so we can be here for the entire journey of their 40-year project.

“We have some world-class supply chain partners who are key to the oil and gas industry globally and a fantastic team of highly skilled staff dedicated to servicing clients.

“We understand the complex nature of the facilities the INPEX team is operating so we do the best we can to make sure they have the appropriate instrumentation delivered to them on time, within spec and on budget.

“We are proud to be a trusted supplier for INPEX.”

Stuart is proud of the company’s reputation and recognition as a leading supplier to global companies in the oil and gas, defence, construction, mining, health, water and clean energy industries.

“We’ve got a world-class pressure laboratory facility, which has just been built in Darwin, and an amazing team with world-class capability.”

He is proud of his local team, which is expected to grow to 10 by Christmas.

The business continues to upskill through internal and external training to ensure it matches the expanding needs of the oil and gas, and other sectors.

In the past 18 months the business has supplied products to companies in Singapore and South Korea.

“INPEX have a long-term focus and they want companies to go on that journey with them,” he says. “They want companies to succeed, and they want companies to continue to employ and develop local capacity.

“The strength of INPEX, and the local participation plan it has in place, gives us the confidence to invest in the business for the long term and our people.”

General manager Mick Henderson is the perfect example of how working for a company such as INPEX builds the capacity of the local workforce.

“I got my experience from working alongside new companies building and watching their processes,” he says. “It is like a journey of learning. Every day I’m learning something different, and I am putting more into the knowledge bank and understanding the application.”

For engineering business development manager Thorsten “Thor” Nellen, it is the balance of living in a small town with a laidback lifestyle coupled with working on a globally significant gas plant that is the best part of working for Territory Instruments.

“We were looking for a sea change and we came and visited our daughter in Darwin while she was backpacking and we fell in love with Darwin,” Thor says.

“I love the weather, the lifestyle and the slower pace. And the field I am in – the instrumentation field – is very specific and very limited so it was really fortuitous that the INPEX LNG plant is here as well.

“You get both – this great lifestyle coupled with a really specialised industry on a global level.”

And a regular highlight for Thor is seeing the large LNG ships manoeuvring out of Darwin Harbour.

“Every single one of those loads going out you know that people in Japan are going to be using that energy to warm themselves and their families and cook food, and it is coming from a plant that we help keep running.”