Business work all at sea

  • 16 Jan 2015
Business work all at sea

FROM ferrying tourists, moving equipment for the LNG projects and commercial expeditions Dennis Toy has built his life's work around boats.

The past five years has been the busiest for his family's ventures, which have included some exciting work.

But Mr Toy, managing director of Fodico, knows business is slowing down in Gladstone as construction on Curtis Island comes to an end.

"The good thing about a boat is that you can take it somewhere else," he said.

"We're going to do some work in Adelaide in the early part of next year and we're frequently around in Weipa."

Fodico Marine Group, based at Gladstone Marina, operates a large fleet of landing craft, ferries, harbour tugs, crew vessels, and barges.

With his three sons and daughter in a group of marine support companies, he said the aim was to cover the east coast more extensively.

"Until recently they were all based here," he said.

"Lindsay has moved to Brisbane and opened an office down there (for East Coast Maritime) and Leon just recently moved to Cairns with his marine business (Hydro-Tow) to look for opportunities."

Mr Toy said it had been a very busy time for them.

"It's slowing down now but that was always going to happen.

"I like to think we're well placed for the downside. It's all about timing."

Fodico Marine Group started with Bechtel in 2010 with a vessel on charter to it and various other contractors requiring landing craft, tugs and barges.

"Our main focus now is still supporting the LNG projects and their contractors," Mr Toy said.

"We did work for John Holland for the construction of the wharf on Curtis Island, and had barges on hire to WICET for their work out there.

"The landing craft are still doing work for Bechtel back and forth to the sites for specialised cargo, bulk fuel and oversize transport low loader floats."

Mr Toy said Fodico had tendered for several LNG support services through the proponents.

"We certainly have to look at other projects, not only in Gladstone but elsewhere," he said.

Being a local business, Fodico Marine Group sponsors many community groups and individuals, from league players, a yacht, hospital donations, the rural fire brigade, surf lifesaving and supporting employees in fundraisers such as Dry July.