Australian composites specialist says new JV “huge step in accelerating” green hydrogen shift


CST Composites has announced a joint venture with US company Optimum Composite Technologies, which the Australian company says positions it to be “a leading player in the global green hydrogen supply chain”.

CST manufactures at Ingleburn and Kurnell sites and specialises in filament-wound products for marine, industrial and high-tech customers. 90 per cent of what it makes is exported to the US, China and Asia.

Its American JV partner focusses on type 3 and type 4 pressure vessels for alternative fuels.

The news, announced by the Australian company on Friday, would see it “expand its core capabilities” to support Optimum’s growth in composite pressure vessels (CPVs) and complement both companies’ strengths.

“This will give us greater access to U.S. markets as well as to Optimum’s technical expertise and Intellectual Property in composite pressure vessels,” said Clive Watts, managing director at CST Composites.

 “It’s a huge step in accelerating Australia’s move to green hydrogen.

 “CST will provide its Australian made machinery, software and technical support to the US company”

Watts added that high-pressure gas storage vessels were one of the biggest and fastest-growing markets internationally for advanced composites, “particularly for filament-wound carbon fibre composites”.

CST was established in 1995 with an initial focus on the marine industry, identifying a need for masts in the high-performance sailing market. Last year its masts were used in the Tokyo Olympics.

Applications for its products range from yachts used in the Sydney to Hobart race to vacuum cleaners to metal detectors.

The company said its growth plan featured the establishment of the country’s first hydrogen vessel factory for customers in defence, space, transport and energy sectors.

Picture: A carbon fibre hydrogen tank made by Optimum (supplied.)

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