There is a wonderful story in Malaga, a suburb of Perth, which very few people know about. Most Ukrainians in Australia have never heard of Alloy Steel and its’ founders, Eugene and Maria Kostecki. They do not know about the really successful, industry leading enterprise which is making its’ mark around the world.
Eugene knew that science and technology was the key to success. He always had a desire to succeed. He was an independent thinker. He attended the local TAFE College in Midland and became a boiler maker. He was creative and in 1976 he started an electroplating business. Experimentation and excellent engineering soon led to the creation of a product called “Arcoplate”. It is the world’s most wear resistant fused alloy steel plate. In 1991 the company “Alloy Steel” was created in Perth. It soon became an international company which is sought by international industrial mining giants. Since mining material does not stick to it, industry loves it because it makes their operation more efficient. Their present customers include Rio Tinto, Fortescue metals, and BHP Billiton.
These companies and others work with the Kostecki business, Alloy Steel, to develop and improve products which are more efficient and economical. For instance, at present they are creating plates with more tungsten in them.
The manufacturing process requires raw material and engineers to make it all work. Computing is the very core of the company. Raw materials are imported from Ukraine, Sweden, Poland, but use local material where possible.
Eugene and Maria Kostecki came to Australia in 1949 as did the thousands of other Ukrainians. They came with their parents to start a new life in this new land of opportunity. They had many challenges but they were determined and knew that they had to work hard.
Their wedding, at St John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in Perth in 1966, the year of its opening, was the first wedding recorded there. Eugene and Maria were always community minded and have had a deep love for Ukraine and a strong commitment to business excellence and integrity. They strived to do their best and expect that from their employees. The company presently has 51 employees. Over 20% of these are from Ukraine. Eugene and Alloy Steel have always recognised the computing and engineering talents in Ukraine.
In 2006 Steve Kostecki travelled to Ukraine to look for help. He advertised in the Ukrainian media and even put up posters on the streets of Lviv. It wasn’t long before he found the help he needed. It’s interesting to note that Alloy Steel has created a restaurant called “Nascafe” on site to serve staff and visitors with home cooked Ukrainian food. This cafe gave jobs to the families of the new arrivals from Ukraine.
Presently Alloy Steel exports its products to Canada, India, Brazil, South Africa, and Chile. They are very interested in expanding their involvement in the Canadian tar sands industry and American opportunities. They are looking for distributers for their very unique product. There is a need to do trials in North America because of the weather related issues and other industry difficulties. Arcoplate can be very beneficial to the industry there.
Eugene Kostecki died in 2014. His wife Maria still helps the company as she has always done. However, Steven, their son, is now the Chief Executive Officer of Alloy Steel. The company is not only in good hands but its’ future is very bright.
This post is also available in: Ukrainian