Steve Skea, Managing Director of Hertel Modern, started his career at 16 as a sheet-metal apprentice, working for Billingham ICI. His experiences offshore and onshore in the oil and gas industry led him in 1976 from the UK to working on major contracts in Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore, and finally Australia." “I have spent more than 40 years on petrochemical plants in many parts of the world. I am a ‘hands on’ person who leads from the front and wouldn’t ask anyone to do something that I haven’t done myself."”

In 1997, Steve commenced on the painting, insulation, and scaffolding contract at the hot briquetted iron (HBI) plant in Port Hedland. During this time, the company of which he was managing director, RJ Southey, acquired part ownership of Cape Modern, a longstanding insulation, painting, scaffolding, and fireproofing company in Western Australia.

During his time at Cape Modern, Steve went over to Malaysia with the Cape Modern management team and, in conjunction with Cape East, managed the MLNG Tiga project, which consisted of the scaffolding of the LNG trains 7 and 8 and the cryogenic insulation of the run down and loading lines. “Our peak manpower was 1,750 people on the Tiga project, which consisted of 1,100 scaffolders and 650 cryogenic insulators. The project took four years from 2000 to 2004, and we achieved more than five million man hours without a lost-time injury.”