“There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper. The people who consider price only are this man’s lawful prey.”
This quote has pride of place at the reception desk of Hornibrook NGI in Port Moresby. It is a fitting thought for a company that has built its reputation on the high quality of its products.
Hornibrook is Papua New Guinea’s leading steel fabrication contractor; that is, an engineering firm that makes goods to order by casting, welding and forging steel.
“We can make anything that is made of steel, ” said Managing Director Mal Lewis, “whether it’s a huge fuel tank or small baskets to carry fish. We can make pylons for carrying electric cables and gold processing tanks for mines just as readily as steel tables for commercial kitchens and restaurants.”
Hornibrook NGI was formed over fifty years ago through the merger of two existing steel fabrication businesses, Steamships Trading Company and Hornibrook Constructions. This has turned out to have been a productive combination and Hornibrook NGI has comfortably retained its pre-eminent position in the steel industry ever since.
With workshops at Port Moresby and Lae, Hornibrook processes up to 1,000 tonnes of steel a month. Heavy duty steel is used for making bridges, tanks, processing plants and big buildings, while the lighter ‘space frame’ steel is used for transportable offices or buildings with up to a 20 metre roof span. Hornibrook is also a shipbuilder – in fact, PNG’s only shipbuilder – and last year launched a 30 metre long barge from their slipway in Port Moresby.
“The key to our success is our staff,” said Mal Lewis. “We train our 500 national and 22 expatriate staff to international standards both here in Port Moresby and overseas and we keep on training. We are proud of our staff.”
With its diverse range of clients and products and its readiness and ability to take on new design briefs, Hornibrook NGI has a large part to play in the continuing development of PNG.