Manufacturing news briefs — stories you might have missed

Austal launches 115-metre high speed ferry

Austal Philippines has successfully launched the 115-metre, high speed vehicle-passenger ferry Express 5 for MOLSLINJEN A/S of Denmark (pictured) The launch utilised a new vessel transportation system designed by Austal. The ‘Auto Express 115’ high-speed catamaran ferry is the largest ferry (by volume) constructed by an Austal shipyard and was securely transported onto Austal Philippines’ floating dock by a new, rail-based system called ‘ANTS’, featuring self-drive trollies with variable geometry to suit any hull configuration. Austal CEO Paddy Gregg said the successful launch of the company’s largest commercial ferry build, utilising Austal’s new ‘ANTS’ vessel transportation system, demonstrated both capability and innovation. “Congratulations to the Austal Philippines team, who have not only successfully constructed and launched Express 5 but designed and developed a new vessel transport system to improve efficiency, reduce costs and enhance operations, for the benefit of our customer.”

Applications for Round 2 of Regional Recycling Fund welcomed

The Victorian government announced on Monday that up to $25 million is available to projects through the Regional Recycling Fund. Round 2 of the program is open until October 27, with grants available to invest in regional sorting and collection facilities. Organisations supported through the first round include the Geelong Resource Recovery Centre and Transfer Station, the Eaglehawk Landfill and Transfer Station, and Strathfieldsaye Transfer Station and Resource Recovery Centre. More information is available here.

Metal shows promise against fungal infections

Associate Professor Mark Blaskovich, Dr Alysha Elliott and other researchers from University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience, say metal compounds could answer the growing problem of drug-resistant fungal infections. The team and their collaborators found one in five metal compounds analysed displayed antifungal properties. Blaskovich said in a statement that the compounds, a particular class of molecule, showed potential to be used in the development of much-needed antifungal drugs, with fungal infections causing approximately 1.5 million deaths a year. “There are only 10 antifungal drugs in various phases of clinical development at the moment and not all of them will pass trials to make it to patients, so we urgently need more options,” said Blaskovich.

Keel laying for fifth Arafura Class vessel

Keel laying has taken place for the fifth of 12 offshore patrol vessels (OPV) to be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy by prime contractor Luerssen Australia. The first two OPVs were built at Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia — the first was launched in December 2021, and the second ship is currently undergoing outfitting — with the remaining ten to be built at Henderson Maritime Precinct in Western Australia. “A keel laying is an important naval tradition that brings good luck to the build of the ship and the life of the vessel,” said Deputy Secretary of National Naval Shipbuilding, Tony Dalton in a statement. “We welcome this major milestone in the delivery of Australia’s future Arafura class offshore patrol vessels.”

Victorian government boosts renewables investment

The Victorian government announced a $157 million package supporting renewable energy generation alongside what it said was “the biggest energy storage targets in Australia” on Tuesday. Premier Daniel Andrews said the state would reach 2.6 gigawatts of renewable energy storage capacity by 2030, with an increased target of 6.3 GW of storage by 2035. He added that $119 million would be invested in a 125 megawatt big battery and grid forming inverter in the Murray Renewable Energy Zone and a further $38.2 million from the Energy Innovation Fund (EIF) will to four projects to generate and store clean energy, including a 100 megawatt battery and inverter in Terang, bioenergy projects at farms in Gippsland and Barwon, and an electrolyser to make renewable hydrogen using recycled water in Wollert.

Orthocell makes first sale of new products

Tissue regeneration company Orthocell has made the first sales of two new CelGro products, Striate+ which is used for dental bone and tissue regeneration and Remplir for peripheral nerve repair. The sales were made to global distribution partner BioHorizons – in return for this licence Orthocell has received $21.5 million. Orthocell managing director Paul Anderson said: “We are delighted to be working with our…partners to grow adoption and establish our products as the best in class medical devices.” The collagen devices provide a scaffold for regrowth, later dissolving in the body.

Picture: Austal

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