Renewable thermal solution provides green alternative for gas-hungry industries

By Andrew Spence A novel blend of old and new technology is helping Australian researchers combine renewable energy and low-cost thermal storage to deliver heat for industrial processes. Developed at the University of South Australia in Adelaide, the method involves using low cost renewable energy such as wind or solar PV to power electrical elements that heat rocks in…

Private equity to back manufacturing?

Analysis by Peter Roberts The Australian Financial Review has an extraordinarily tantalising piece of gossip today which, if confirmed, will mark a milestone for private equity investment in manufacturing. Normally PE suppliers take positions in manufacturers under strain, only to onsell the businesses after stripping them of assets and offshoring operations. Few genuine PE investments…

Would an Australian merchant fleet help manufacturing?

Analysis by Peter Roberts If the ALP is elected at the upcoming national poll, as seems likely, Australia just may see the revival of Australian-owned shipping. Opposition leader, Bill Shorten has promised to re-develop maritime skills training, establish an investigative task force, and develop a core, privately-owned, Australian ‘strategic fleet’. Made up of perhaps a…

Low carbon concrete defies the waves

In a world-first project, researchers and NSW Ports have incorporated waste from coal-fired power stations into low carbon Geopolymer concrete. The concrete has been cast into barricades and installed to protect the coastline at Port Kembla from extreme weather events. Steel furnace slag (SFS) Geopolymer concrete is denser than traditional concrete and emits 50 per…