Wholohan Grill and Partners grew steadily throughout the 1970’s and ‘80’s and in 1986 acquired the Australian and Asian interests of Worley, an American based engineering firm with a strong reputation in the offshore gas and oil arena.
The company changed its name to Worley and from this point began expanding steadily, securing long term contracts in Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore, and creating local joint ventures, most of which are still active today. The partnering model Worley used was based on mutual respect and the understanding that local partners provided the essential knowledge to develop their regional markets. These principles still prevail today in the ongoing growth of the firm and are very much the culture of the organization.Throughout the 1990’s Worley expanded both its industry sector and geographical footprint.
A policy of diversification saw Worley grow from its roots in the hydrocarbons sector into the power, infrastructure and environment, and minerals and metals sectors. At the start of the new millennium Worley was well poised to continue its industry sector and geographic expansion with 30 offices and 3,000 personnel globally. This success enabled Worley to diversify further through additional partnerships and acquisitions.
In 2002 Worley became a publicly listed company on the Australian Stock Exchange leading to a period of acquisitions of increasing magnitude around the globe, including companies in Canada, Oman, and China.
In 2004 Worley acquired Parsons E&C, a global leader in downstream hydrocarbons with a widely recognized reputation for its high quality project services to the Power, Oil and Gas, Refining, Petrochemicals and Chemicals sectors globally. Parsons E&C has its own impressive history stemming back to 1944 when Ralph M. Parsons started what is now the Parsons Corporation in Los Angeles. In 2002, Parsons Corporation separated Parsons E&C from the other business units. In recognition of the strong and successful heritage of both firms, Worley merged operations with Parsons E&C and commenced trading as WorleyParsons.
Further acquisitions including Astron and Komex for environmental services, DRPL in the power sector, TMG and Watkins & Godwin in the infrastructure sector and HG Engineering, Gas Cleaning Technologies and Jones & Jones in the mineral and metals sector, have continued to deepen and broaden WorleyParsons’ capability and geographic presence.
In 2006 WorleyParsons entered the South American market through a joint venture with Santiago based ARA, a leading base metals and infrastructure engineering firm, while Colt Companies, Canada’s largest engineering and project services firm, became part of the WorleyParsons family in 2007. Later that year, the companies Patterson Britton and Partners, and John Wilson and Partners were acquired, both regarded as leading consultants in the water and environmental services market in Australia with specific capabilities in the coastal and marine, water resources and wastewater, environmental, civil and structural and power markets.
This provided a significant step up in the organization’s ability to support their customers across all industry sectors in the areas of water and environmental services. In November 2007, WorleyParsons’ capability in the nuclear consulting and analysis segment of the international nuclear industry was complemented with the acquisition of Polestar as well as UniField Engineering with the aim to expand the power business in the USA further.
WorleyParsons has a strong commitment to developing its business in Africa, namely by the establishment of offices in Egypt and Libya and by the acquisition in the beginning of 2008 of a 50% share in Pangaea - a Pretoria, South African based project services company, now renamed PangeaWorleyParsons.
The acquisitions of SEA Engineering in 2007 and INTEC in April 2008, leading international offshore deepwater Hydrocarbons engineering and project services companies, completed the missing link in WorleyParsons’ hydrocarbons business and strategically positioned the company to provide comprehensive solutions for large scale integrated deepwater facilities, subsea and marine systems projects.
The acquisition of Westmar, a leading Canadian based marine and port facility, resource and mining infrastructure, bulk material handling and transportation specialist, is an important step in further extending the Infrastructure and Minerals & Metals capabilities in both Canada and international markets.
Health, safety and the environment are of paramount importance to WorleyParsons. Our goal of Zero Harm is achieved through leadership, elimination of environmental and safety incidents and the promotion of safe behaviors. In particular, the 2006 acquisition of Komex, an international environmental engineering company, emphasized our commitment to environmental services and solutions.
Today, the global enterprise has 120 offices and 28,800 personnel. WorleyParsons’ commitment to entrepreneurial spirit and partnership, started by John Grill at Wholohan Grill and Partners over 30 years ago, still drives the company towards its vision to be the preferred global provider of technical, project and operational services to our customers, using our distinctive culture to create value for our customers and prosperity for our people.