1.5 years after starting a process, Canberra backs commercial mRNA vaccine manufacture

By Peter Roberts Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced today that state and federal governments and vaccine producer Moderna had signed an ‘in principle’ deal for the construction of a Melbourne plant capable of utilising the newly successful vaccine production technologies that produced the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The plant would be capable of producing up…

Importing trams because they were cheaper was never true – By Shane West

The idea that importing public transport rolling stock is somehow cheaper has been blown out of the water by Sydney’s recent disasters with trains that don’t fit the tunnels and trams that are cracking up, and let’s not forget imported ferries that don’t fit under bridges. Here Shane West forensically dissects the history of Sydney’s…

Silver, lead and zinc refining goes green as minerals sector rushes to decarbonise

By Peter Roberts Nystrar’s big silver, lead and zinc refinery at Port Pirie in South Australia is planning to go green with news that the company and the state are funding a $5 million front end engineering and design study for as $750 million green hydrogen electrolyser to power the plant. The plant, which was…

Finally, Australia signs a big defence buy from Korean firm Hanwha

By Peter Roberts Australia has signed a $1 billion defence contract for new Self-Propelled Howitzers for the army from an Asian nation – from Hanwha Defense Australia and Korea – ending a purchasing drought and bias towards buying from European nations and prime contractors and the United States. Hanwha plans to build and assemble its…

NIOA sets itself up for arms development in Lithgow

By Peter Roberts Fast-growing firearms, weapons and ammunition manufacturer NIOA has set itself up for expansion of its operations to the historic defence manufacturing region of Lithgow in New South Wales with the purchase of an important home and land in the regional city. NIOA has purchased historic Lidsdale House (pictured) which sits on a…

Widely available grant for energy efficiency launched

The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources has announced a new grant opportunity that will be available to SME food and beverage manufacturers under its Energy Efficient Communities Program. The program is unusually broad and should apply to every SME in the field looking to improve energy efficiency and, while the dollar amount is…

Fortescue tests ammonia, hydrogen for locomotive fleet

Fortescue Metals Group is pushing ahead with the decarbonisation of its rail locomotive fleet with the arrival of two additional locomotives at Fortescue Future Industries’ (FFI) research and development facility in Hazelmere, Perth. The two four-stroke locomotives will undergo further testing on the new fuel system, joining the first two-stroke locomotive which underwent testing earlier…