WesCEF Employee Milestones – Barry Kane reflects on 25 years at WesCEF

01 May 2023

​​​Barry Kane, Prill Plant 2 Operator at CSBP, recently celebrated 25 years of working at WesCEF.

It’s a significant achievement, particularly given he didn’t think he’d even get his first job at WesCEF’s Ammonium Loading Facility (ALF), loading ammonium into road and rail ISOs for the mines.

Barry Kane on site at CSBP

“I’d previously run my own businesses but was looking for a change and something more stable,” Barry said.

“I was told one of the best things I could do was to get a job at CSBP, but I was 45 years at the time, with no experience in ammonia and competing against 325 other applicants for three positions, so was pretty doubtful about my chances.

“However, I did get the job and here I am, 25 years later, still getting up every day and coming to work. It’s been both a constant learning curve and a really good place to work over those years.”

Highlights and change over 25 years

Barry’s seen a lot of changes in the business. Those that most stick in mind are the demolition of the old ammonia plant and commissioning of the new plant; as well as the development of the Prill Plant and the add-on of Prill Plant 2, where he has worked for the past 12 years.

While Barry’s had a variety of roles over his time, including a few stints in different positions in other plants, he says it’s the people that have been the best part of the job.

“The work itself is pretty mundane and repetitive but you drop into a rhythm and before you know it, 10, 20, 25 years has passed.

“What I’ve enjoyed most, is getting to work with different personalities over the years. With shift work, you’re generally working in small groups for 12 hours at a time, so you get to know each other really well and become this tight little unit. It’s been a great opportunity to get to know people from all walks of life and backgrounds.

“I also used to enjoy working out on the wharf, unloading the ammonia imports. There’s something invigorating about being on the jetty and working out there in the elements.”

And what’s next for Barry?

As for the future, Barry has no immediate plans to retire just yet.

“I remain pretty fit and healthy and can still handle the stairs, so am not going anywhere for a while!”