Manufacturing News

Best of the week — the five most popular stories among readers, November 27 – December 1, 2023

Manufacturing News

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

5) Green Steel forging ahead with WA green steel plants

Green Steel of WA has taken to social media to commit to completing what it hopes will be Australia’s first hydrogen based steel plant by 2028.

The company has been quietly developing two projects – an electric arc furnace to recycle scrap and the state’s first green hydrogen direct-reduced iron (DRI) plant with a total investment envisaged of $2 billion.

The company said on social media: “We…are developing a H2 DRI plant using Danieli Group’s (hydrogen-based) Energiron technology here in Western Australia.

4) National Reconstruction fund investment mandate released

The investment mandate for the National Reconstruction Fund, the federal government’s $15 billion effort to invest in and grow seven sectors within manufacturing, has been published.

A joint statement from industry minister Ed Husic and finance minister Katy Gallagher on Thursday says the mandate includes areas of investment across those seven areas, and directs the independent NRF Corporation to operate on a commercial, self-sufficient basis, setting a targeted rate of return “of between 2 and 3 per cent above the five-year Australian government bond rate over the medium to long term.”

3) Now Namoi Cotton set to fall to a foreign buyer

Another day another takeover of an Australian manufacturer, this time of ginning company Namoi Cotton.

While cotton ginning is a basic processing operation, Namoi’s gins represents one of the very few downstream processing activities occurring in Australia’s cotton sector and under Australian control.

Here, again, Australia is a supplier of the moist basic of commodities, with the value-adding occurring overseas – a familiar story of the de-industrialisation of Australia.

2) Carbon Revolution to manufacture in Mexico – media report

As if it is not enough of a slap in the face for Australian technology companies the fact that carbon fibre wheel maker Carbon Revolution was bought by American investors for a song, the next step according to media reports is to manufacture in Mexico, writes Peter Roberts.

According to Automotive News, the company born out of research at Deakin University in Geelong and supported by Australian shareholders until Covid disrupted global automotive markets could open a factory in Mexico.

CEO Jake Dingle told Automotive News: “We’re getting ourselves prepared for a facility that will be in North America, quite possibly Mexico, that can service our North American customers and customers in other parts of the world.”

1) Can Canberra arrest the flow of manufacturers leaving for the US?

The Industry Growth Program, offering grants between $50,000 and $5 million to SME and startup commercialisation projects, started accepting applications on Monday. It will no doubt be useful to a long list of companies.

However, the replacement for the Entrepreneurs’ Programme does nothing to address some bigger, more immediate problems, writes Brent Balinski.

And in case you missed our campaign launch…

@AuManufacturing‘s Australia’s 50 Most Innovative Manufacturers campaign has returned, and will culminate with an awards event at Australian Manufacturing Week 2024. Brent Balinski spoke to Martin Ripple from ANCA CNC Machines and Ian Lowrey from Wireman about an always-important topic.

Picture: credit Tritium


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