Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Adelaide lighting manufacturer expands

VALO, a maker of premium stadium lighting, has opened a carbon-neutral $8 million research, development and production hub at Kent Town, Adelaide. The company said it had increased its local headcount from four to 15 in the last 12 months, and had invested in state-of-the-art facilities, including in surface mount technology and its new assembly line. “Having production move back onshore will allow us to increase employment in South Australia,” said founder and CEO Aaron Hickmann, who added that it was developing solutions not just for for sport stadium lighting, but also in street lighting, airports, sea ports, transport hubs and distribution centres, both in Australia and internationally.

Australian Pavilion back at San Diego biotech show

The Australian Pavilion will return at BIO 2022, the world’s largest biotechnology congress, as the event returns to its in-person version at San Diego on June 13 – 16. AusBiotech leads the delegation and pavilion and has invited biotechnology organisations to join it at the show to “showcase Australian capabilities and promote the strength of the national life sciences sector, to foster global connections.” The event is hosted by the Biotechnology Innovation Organisation (BIO.) More information can be found here.

Inaugural Central Coast Industry Festival and Expo set for August

Central Coast Industry Connect (CCIC) has announced it will host the Central Coast Industry Festival and Expo, funded by the Commonwealth and NSW governments under their Disaster Recovery funding arrangements. According to CCIC the event would be the first of its kind for the region, showcase the diverse range of products made in the region, and support the growth of the local manufacturing and agricultural production sectors. Another key objective for the show — which runs for two weeks beginning August 22 — would be to highlight the employment opportunities available to current and future generations, with an entire day dedicated to bringing industry, schools and universities together to showcase career paths in the within the food, beverages, agriculture and advanced manufacturing sectors.

TAFE automotive centre gets $1.3 m for new training tech

The Victorian government has announced $1.3 million in funding for the Automotive Centre of Excellence at Docklands. Minister for training Gayle Tierney said it would see the purchase of new equipment such as high-end electronic training board car simulators, new computers and software programs and allow students at Kangan TAFE to train on “a variety of vehicle models – from a 20-year-old Toyota Prius to a 2021 Tesla and clean, green cars of the future.” The funding is delivered through the TAFE Equipment and Facilities Fund, and would, Tierney added, provide “equipment local apprentices need to learn their trade – securing a pipeline of highly skilled automotive workers now and into the future.”

Oceania Biofuels picks Gladstone for $500 million aviation biofuel refinery

Yarwun Industrial Precinct in Gladstone has been selected by Oceania Biofuels to host a new $500 million renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel biorefinery. Acting premier Steven Miles said the company picked Yarwun for Australia’s first commercial fuel biorefinery due to Queensland’s “commitment to develop a biofuels industry in this state.” An estimated 60 direct jobs would be created at the site. Manufacturing minister Glenn Butcher said the refinery would improve fuel security, and further diversify the investments in industrial activity for Gladstone, “such as Alpha HPA’s high purity alumina industrial plant, Acciona’s Aldoga Solar Farm, Stanwell Corporation’s renewable hydrogen facility and Fortescue Future Industries’ hydrogen equipment manufacturing hub.”


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