Best of the week — the five most popular stories among readers, May 13 – May 17, 2024

What were the five biggest stories of the week? Here’s what visitors to @AuManufacturing were reading.

5) Incitec Pivot’s fertiliser business heads for foreign control

Yet another Australian manufacturing operation is heading for foreign control with fertiliser and explosives business Incitec Pivot confirming it was negotiating the sale of its fertiliser manufacturing to an Indonesian company.

IPL’s CEO & Managing Director Mauro Neves told investors the company had continued to progress the structural separation of its fertiliser and explosives businesses.

Neves said: “We are in advanced negotiations for a potential sale of our fertilisers business to PT Pupuk Kalimantan Timur, who are a major fertilisers producer in Asia and current supplier of urea to Australia.

4) Liontown Resources progress lithium concentrate production

Battery Materials producer Liontown Resources has executed an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract with GR Engineering Services (GRES) for the delivery and commissioning of the paste plant to support underground mining operations at the company’s Kathleen Valley lithium mine.

The Paste Plant will include two trains capable of producing up to 160m3 of paste per hour and has been designed to accommodate future expansion of mining operations to 4Mtpa.

Delivery of cemented paste fill is an integral part of the underground mining cycle at Kathleen Valley in north-western Western Australia, maximising recovery of the underground orebody and planned production rates and reducing water consumption.

3) Whyalla steelworks restart ‘imminent’ – Gupta

Steelmaker GFG Alliance’s Sanjeev Gupta has told staff that the company which operates the Whyalla steelworks was ‘very confident’ faulty furnace at the site would be restored ‘imminently’.

However this could be as late as next month according to local trade unions.

Gupta said via video: “The last couple of months have probably been amongst the most challenging for the team in Whyalla.”

2) Budget has $22.7 billion for a Future Made in Australia over 10 years

If a plethora of ambitious programmes and many, many billions of dollars are all that it takes to reverse manufacturing’s long term slide, then Jim Chalmers budget 2024 delivered tonight has made a welcome start on setting the $124 billion sector up for a new period of expansion, writes Peter Roberts.

While headlines were the achievement of a second surplus this time of $9.3 billion, Stage 3 tax cuts for all taxpayers and cost of living relief, the centrepiece for manufacturers was the Future Made in Australia policy.

Previously the government has announced $466.4 million of federal money is going to the $1 billion backing PsiQuantum to build a quantum computer in Queensland, $60 million for an Australian Defence Technologies Academy in Adelaide. and a $1 billion Solar SunShot scheme to grow a local supply chain for solar PV manufacturing.

1) Countrywide Hydrogen to be Tasmania’s first major hydrogen producer

ReNu Energy subsidiary Countrywide Hydrogen will become “Tasmania’s first major green hydrogen producer”, the state government announced on Monday, after an $8 million funding agreement.

In a joint statement with energy minister Nick Duigan, Premier Jeremy Rockliff said that Countrywide “will produce hydrogen at multiple locations around the state,” and supply it to various users.

Countrywide will receive funding on a per-kilogram basis of green hydrogen sold to end-users under the Green Hydrogen Price Reduction Scheme, said Duigan. This will cover “the gap between the cost to produce the green hydrogen and what end-users are able to pay.”

Picture: credit Countrywide



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