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VEEM works to develop specialist police vessel

Perth marine engineering company VEEM is working closely with Global Marine Design and Fine Entry Marine to deliver an innovative 23.9m aluminium offshore patrol vessel for Tasmania Police (pictured). In a first for policing vessels within Australia, a VEEM Marine VG52SD gyrostabiliser will be installed to provide a more stable platform which will reduce fatigue and increase crew comfort and safety. The vessel’s planned operational functions include search and rescue response, marine safety enforcement, patrolling of State and Commonwealth Marine Reserves and State security operations. This will see it operate around all of Tasmania’s coastline out to 200 nautical miles, with a range of 1,000 nautical miles. Delivery of the new vessel is scheduled for early 2024.

Saab ‘thrilled’ at MMI grant success

Saab Australia has said it is ‘thrilled’ with an announcement by the federal government re-affirming their commitment to the previously announced $22.6 million Modern Manufacturing Initiative grant. Grants handed out in the dying days of the Morrison government had faced uncertainty while they were reviewed by industry minister Ed Husic. Saab said the grant will see the establishment of the nation’s first, state-of-the-art Sovereign Combat System Collaboration Centre within Saab’s expanded national headquarters. “Our major facility expansion further confirms our commitment to Australia with our additional investment of $55 million set to increase the size of the current Adelaide facility by 80 percent over an 18-month construction timeframe. We’ve issued tender documents and are currently in the market to secure a preferred builder.” Saab developed in Australia the combat management system interface used on Australian naval ships.

Bega’s big cheese of an expansion year

Bega Group has celebrated the first full year ownership of the Lion Dairy & Drinks business, announcing revenue up 45 per cent in FY22 to reach a record $3.0001 billion. The company’s new Bega Dairy and Drinks business picked up Lion brands Dairy Farmers, Dare, Pura, Farmers Union, Masters, Big M, Daily Juice, The Juice Brothers and Berri. However, disruptions markets from floods, Covid-19, transport challenges and the war in Ukraine saw EBIT fall 58 percent to 46.9 million. FY22 was a strong year financially nonetheless with the company reducing net debt by $60 million to $265 million.

NT big battery project gets underway

Construction is underway for the Northern Territory’s $45 million big battery – known as Darwin-Katherine Battery Energy Storage System (DK BESS) – with earthworks complete, heavy foundations, in-ground services and culverts well underway. According to the NT government in a statement on Monday: “The 35MVA battery is expected to pay for itself in approximately five years and deliver cost savings of around $9.8 million per year. It will also reduce emissions by about 58,000 tonnes per annum.” The DK BESS is expected to be operational in 2023, with battery installation due to commence late this year.

Uuvipak to launch Kickstarter campaign

Uuvipak, a Brisbane-based startup making edible and compostable products from upcycled food waste, will launch a crowdfunding campaign on Monday. The company founded by cell biologist and the software engineer Dr Shafali Gupta and Andy Epifani — recent guests on the @AuManufacturing Conversations podcast — makes bowls, cups and plates. According to Uuvipak, 1 per cent of Kickstarter sales “will go to ‘One Tree Planted’ to plant trees and ‘Great Barrier Reef Foundation to restore our coral reefs”. The company’s campaign page can be seen here.

Bendigo Bank puts its money where its customers are

Forty nine branch and office locations of the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank are now benefiting from electricity produced by solar PV panels, including panels purchased from bank customer and solar panel manufacturer, Tindo Solar. As the company heads to a goal of purchasing 100 percent renewable energy by 2025, Tindo installed its Adelaide made panels at five branches along the East Coast of Australia in the past month. Bank Managing Director Marnie Baker said: “Putting our customers first is in our DNA here at Bendigo and Adelaide Bank – not only with their banking needs – but also in contributing to a more sustainable future for future generations – and Tindo is helping us to achieve this.”

Origin Energy readies itself for net zero

Gas production and electricity generation and retail business Origin Energy has announced the company’s first Climate Transition Action Plan to guide its transition to become a net-zero economy. The plan sets a target of net zero in Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 2050, and a 40 percent reduction by 2030. Origin recently announced the closure of the coal-fired Eraring plant by 2025, with a big battery planned for the site. Origin CEO Frank Calabria said: “We recognise that a significant proportion of our emissions result from our customers’ use of the energy products we sell, or our Scope 3 emissions.” Included in the plan, which has yet to be voted on by shareholders, are new short and medium-term targets, but excluded are potential future emissions from planned new gas fields in the Beetaloo Basin.

Austal positions itself for growth after strong FY22

Perth shipbuilder Austal achieved its second highest earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), a strong net profit after tax (NPAT), and is positioned to capitalise on a record pipeline of work, according to financial results for the 12 months ended 30 June 2022. The company generated $1.43 billion in revenue and EBIT of $120.7 million. Austal Chief Executive Officer, Paddy Gregg, said: “Our operational excellence and resilience during FY2022 has delivered robust earnings and profit results, as we successfully commenced the transition to a new phase of long-term growth.” Gregg said the company had built its support capabilities in Cairns, Brisbane and San Diego, divested its China JV, commenced steel shipbuilding in Alabama, and secured new design contracts which placed the company to win contracts for further ship programs.

Picture: Veem

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