AT ONLY 28 years old, born and bred Gladstone lad Adam Balkin has built a marine empire off the LNG boom.

AB Marine Service was a one-man band in 2008, but now has 10 vessels, worth an estimated $2 million.

He employs 17 staff, with projects ranging from research work to passenger transfers to Curtis Island.

"I just saw an opportunity and took it. I never imagined it would take me here," he said.

While he jokes about retiring when the Curtis Island construction phase winds down, Mr Balkin is confident of more work in the operational stage.

"Gladstone is an industrial town and you have to embrace it," he said.

"The industry will be here forever."



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