Solid as steel
Hornibrook diversifies into other fields
Major steel fabrication and construction company Hornibrook NGI is leveraging its in-house capacity to diversify into property and hospitality.
The privately owned Lae-based firm was formed in 1990 by the merger of Hornibrook Constructions and NGI Steel.
With the construction side of the business relying heavily on roll-formed steel-frame buildings (well suited to PNG’s harsh environment) vertical integration became an important competitive advantage in an economy where it is not always easy to source the products and services you need.
“Vertical integration is the key. The more you do in-house the less you can be let down,” says managing director Matthew Lewis.
Vertical integration is the key. The more you do inhouse the less you can be let down.
The company relocated from the centre of Lae to the Nine Mile area, halfway to Lae’s Nadzab Airport in 2012. At 6400 square metres, the steel fabrication facility at the new site is the largest in PNG and includes a vehicle repair workshop. The company’s core business is to provide turnkey building services for mine sites, hospitals, schools and housing.
In the past decade, it has also expanded into property and hospitality, most obviously with the opening of the Crossroads Hotel, on a pristine block across the road from the steel plant.
The three-star hotel has 45 rooms, plus an infinity pool, poolside bar and entertainment area, and a well-equipped gym.
On the same estate, Hornibrook has built 134 four-bedroom houses, which it rents out. There is also a convenience store and ATM on site. However, this development is just the beginning of the company’s ambitions in the property sector, says Lewis.
“We own a large tract of land in the Nine Mile area and when the economic conditions are right we intend to develop it into a satellite suburb of Lae.”