Murray & Roberts just landed a R9.5 billion petrochemical deal in the US – after spending R80 million to buy a big-projects team

Business Insider SA
murray & roberts
  • A Murray & Roberts subsidiary in the USA has landed contract worth R9.5 billion.
  • The deal nicely cements the position of Clough USA, M&R says.
  • That company was established earlier this year after an acquisition that set M&R back some R80 million.
  • For more stories go to

Murray & Roberts (M&R) has secured an American petrochemical deal it believes will be worth the equivalent of R9.5 billion – on the back of a capacity investment that cost it the equivalent of R80 million just a few months ago.

On Monday the engineering and mining contractor told shareholders its wholly-owned subsidiary Clough USA had landed a multi-year  engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) project, worth $620 million.

It did not provide details, saying only that Clough had "secured a limited notice to proceed", with "full notice" expected in October. 

The deal represents a grand entrance into the North American petrochemical sector which has seen ongoing growth as new oil and gas deposits are exploited, but which now faces considerable uncertainty thanks to a possible full-blown trade war between the USA and China and related political developments.

Although Clough Australia traces back its history 100 years, Clough USA was only established earlier in 2019 – thanks to what the parent company described as a "small acquisition", though "strategically significant".

See also: Woolworths has now lost nearly R12 billion in 5 years trying to go big in Australia

Murray & Roberts paid $5.2 million, or the equivalent of R80 million at present exchange rates, for the EPC business of Saulsbury Industries, based in the US oil capital of Houston.

"This is a strong organisation, staffed by experienced people with full EPC capability for projects up to US$500 million," the company said at the time.

That team, around which Clough USA was established, specialises in downstream EPC such as the construction of refineries.

Receive a single WhatsApp every morning with all our latest news: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: