Our People

Chairman & Managing Director

Vikas Rambal has more than 20 years experience in business and a proven track record in delivering world-class fertiliser plants.

Born in Delhi, Mr Rambal qualified as a chemical engineer at the University of Nagpur, specialising in petrochemicals.

He spent the first years of his career working with Bharat Petroleum (formerly Shell) and was then involved in establishing a range of projects including refineries and the manufacture of fertilisers.

In 2000, Mr Rambal and his business partners moved to Western Australia with plans to use natural gas for downstream industry, including the manufacture of ammonia for the international fertiliser market.

As a former shareholder and Managing Director of Burrup Fertilisers, Mr Rambal was the driving force of the project from instigation to completion.

After Burrup's successful commissioning, Mr Rambal established Perdaman Chemicals and Fertilisers Pty Ltd (formerly known as North West Chemicals and Fertilisers Pty Ltd) with the intention to develop a second world scale fertiliser plant in Western Australia.

Director (Corporate)

Andreas Walewski brings a wealth of business experience to the company.

Prior to joining Perdaman Chemicals and Fertilisers, Mr Walewski was Director and Company Secretary with Burrup Fertilisers Pty Ltd for more than five years. During that period the company built what was then the world's largest liquid ammonia plant in the North West of Western Australia.

Mr Walewski's deep involvement with both the urea and ammonia plants reflects his extensive experience in assisting overseas companies establishing business operations in Western Australia. Since 1999 he has assisted a range of companies in this area through Andreas Walewski Consulting, a business specialising in accounting, taxation and corporate advisory services.

Between 1985 and 1999, Mr Walewski was Chief Executive Officer for the Western Australian operations of solicitors Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

After graduating in Germany with a Masters of Business Administration and Chemical Engineering, Mr Walewski began his career as a specialist in planning and business control with international IT giant IBM. Upon relocation to Australia in 1985, Mr Walewski continued his studies, completing a Post-Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting.

Director (Projects)

Joe McCarthy has almost 30 years' experience in engineering, procurement and construction for refining, chemical, and petrochemical projects.

As corporate director of proposals for international engineering and construction firm Shaw Stone & Webster, Mr McCarthy managed the preparation of bids and proposals in the firm's Energy and Chemicals Division with offices in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.

He has extensive experience as a project director and has overseen refining, fertiliser, gasification and petrochemical projects across the world. He has worked for a range of leading construction and engineering firms including KBR, Badger/Ratheon and Shaw Stone & Webster.

In 2001 he managed the initial project development activities for Burrup Fertilisers' ammonia production facility - the biggest of its kind in the world. He also successfully completed the engineering, procurement and construction of a gasification facility in Singapore.

Mr McCarthy graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana.

Director (Finance)

John Leahey has over 35 years in Project and Corporate Finance experience servicing major corporations across a variety of industry sectors.

Early career involvement as a mining, exploration and contracting geologist provided a sound basis for subsequent involvement in generating, advising on, structuring, underwriting and arranging project financing packages for greenfield and brownfield projects across the natural resources industry.

He has over 27 years of experience in the Finance industry with the Australian Industry Development Corporation, Chase Manhattan Bank Australia and ANZ Investment Bank.

Mr Leahey also has extensive experience in other areas of investment banking, corporate finance, credit risk management and institutional banking in Australia. As such he has led or had a major role in a wide range of project and corporate finance activities for many of Australia's major companies and projects over an extended period.

Mr Leahey holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) (Geol) from the University of Tasmania and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Western Australia

Technical Manager

Jake De Boer has over 26 years' experience in front end project strategy and process definition for large petrochemical projects.

As Manager of Opportunity Assessment for the international commercial coal-to-liquids company Sasol, South Africa, Mr De Boer developed a number of significant petrochemical projects. Over 16 years this included the doubling of ethylene and propylene crackers and various coal and gas based projects.

His coal to ammonia and fertiliser plant specific experience includes development of Sasol ammonia plants, the 1,100 tpd (tonnes per day) coal to urea Modderfontein plant, providing support to the Burrup ammonia project and technical support for a lignite to urea project.

In 2003 he relocated to Australia to support the precursor of the Monash Coal to Liquids project in Victoria. From 2004 as a Principal Consultant with leading infrastructure consultancy GHD, he provided project development support for various coal (gasification) and gas based project proposals across Australia and New Zealand.

Mr De Boer holds a Masters degree in Chemical Engineering, from the University of Pretoria, South Africa and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of South Africa.

Manager Infrastructure & Government Relations

Gary has over 25 years operations and management experience in the oil and gas, water and waste management industries. Born in Western Australia, he spent the initial part of his career after graduating in engineering with BP in Melbourne, designing, constructing and supervising fuel storage installations. 

Once establishing his role within installations at BP, he then moved into manufacturing and managed manufacture and sale of bitumen and specialty products at the BP Kwinana Refinery, before joining Wesfarmers Energy to take on a national LP gas logistics management role.

After 4 years with Wesfarmers Energy he sought public sector utility experience and secured a commercial role managing the business development team with the Water Corporation. Mr Watson's previous private sector experience was invaluable during his 6 year involvement with the organisation in aiding the water utility to adopt a more commercially orientated culture. This was evident in general operations as well as their approach to relationships with key corporate customers.

Prior to joining Perdaman, Mr Watson managed and developed the 600 employee operations of the WA branch of Transpacific Industries Group for a period of 5 years , a publicly listed specialist waste management provider.

Mr Watson holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from Curtin University along with a Masters of Business Administration.

Production Manager

Dinesh B Illath has over 19 years of experience in the fertiliser industry.

During his tenure with Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers he was involved in the debottlenecking of the plant and also a key member in the revamp of the ammonia plant's commissioning of an add-on Naphtha Unit to overcome gas shortages. Mr Illath was also a lead member in the commissioning team of the 1350 Mtpd Ammonia plant in India.

After moving to Australia in 2006, Mr Illath was appointed Senior Production Manager of an Ammonia plant in the north-west of Australia. He was instrumental in the commissioning and subsequent stabilization and management of the production of the 2200 Mtpd Ammonia Plant.

With a special interest in Advanced Process Control Technology, Mr Illath's area of expertise is Ammonia Technology and has authored papers on 'Advanced Process Control in large scale Ammonia plants'.

Mr Illath graduated with a Bachelor of technology in Chemical Engineering from Nagpur University India.