Machinery exporter hopes for hemp hub in Geelong

An Australian-made hemp processing machine has been shipped to Canada, and the company behind it believes the technology could enable a new textile processing industry in Geelong.

The exported decortication machine was developed by TCI and Geelong engineering firm Austeng. Its technology allows the woody fibre from hemp hurd to be harvested without the step of “retting” or drying, which makes for improvements in processing speed and in how much of a plant can be used. Hemp is a useful material in textiles, insulation, composites for building materials and other applications.
The Geelong Advertiser reports that besides the machine sold to a Canadian client, TCI has two US orders on its books and interest from Europe and China. TCI believes it could also enable a processing industry back home over the next few years, where the plant could be used in textiles.
“We want all the hemp fibre that is decorticated in Australia to be shipped to Geelong where we degum it,” CEO Charles Kovess told The Advertister.
“Our plan is to produce hemp yarn in Geelong.”
The new machines also feature remote monitoring technology, allowing for things like improved maintenance and further advantages over other processing technology.

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