Manufacturing news briefs — stories you might have missed

PepsiCo to trial hydrogen-powered truck

PepsiCo Australia has launched its first hydrogen-powered prime mover, supplied by Pure Hydrogen, the company announced on Thursday. PepsiCo said this was a first in the FMCG sector and in its global operations. Pure Hydrogen will supply a hydrogen fuel cell-powered 160 kilowatt 6 x 4 prime mover for a six-month trial, as well as provide hydrogen fuel and maintenance services as required. The truck will be housed at PepsiCo’s Brisbane manufacturing site and deliver “to customers across its supply chain.” PepsiCo ANZ CEO Kyle Faulconer said: “This trial demonstrates our commitment to net zero emissions across our value chain by 2040 – a goal that forms an integral component of PepsiCo Positive, a sustainability framework for how we inspire positive change for the planet and people. Pure Hydrogen recently unveiled Australia’s first hydrogen-powered prime mover at the Brisbane Truck Show.

UOW Innovation Campus to build microgrid CELL for research

The Australian Power Quality Research Centre (APQRC) at University of Wollongong (UOW) has received $1.1 million from the NSW Government to establish Australia’s first mixed-use, precinct-based microgrid, a piece of research infrastructure for microgrid-based electricity generation, storage, consumption, demand management and control technologies. The Clean Energy Living Laboratory (CELL) at UOW’s Innovation Campus will use electricity generated by 468 solar panels located on the roof of the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC) to power the building, Illawarra Flame project house and Campus East Student Accommodation, including the kitchens and laundry, as well as street lighting in a surrounding area, UoW said. APQRC Research Coordinator Sean Elphick said, “This project will deliver a flagship mixed-use, precinct-based microgrid highlighting both the benefits and challenges of deploying such a system within the National Electricity Market.”

Circular Plastics Australia (PET) recognised as Sustainability Leader

Circular Plastics Australia (PET) has been named one of The Australian Financial Review‘s Sustainability Leaders for 2023 in the manufacturing and consumer goods category for its two state-of-the-art PET plastic bottle recycling facilities. The Pact Group-Cleanaway Waste Management-Asahi Beverages-Coca-Cola Europacific Partners joint venture opened the first of its PET plastic recycling facilities in Albury NSW last year, with the second plant in Altona North in Melbourne due to commence operations in late-2023. When fully operational, the two plants, which are operated by Pact Group, will have the combined capacity to recycle around two billion 600ml PET beverage bottles each year

CEFC makes $100 million investment in Waratah Super Battery

​The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is investing $100 million as part of a capital raise of more than $500 million in the largest network battery in the southern hemisphere. The 850-megawatt Waratah Super Battery will be built on the state’s Central Coast on the former site of the Munmorah coal-fired power station ‘will allow network operators to move greater amounts of electricity over existing transmission lines, with the battery serving as a “shock absorber” during power surges such as those that occur from bush fires or lightning strikes’ according to a statement from energy minister Chris Bowen on this week. “The Waratah Super Battery will help stabilise the electricity network and help deliver more of the cleanest, cheapest form of energy for Australian businesses and households,” added Bowen.

NeuRizer announces progress in urea from coal project

NeuRizer has announced a development in approvals for the downstream component of its insitu coal gasification and fertiliser production project planned for the former Leigh Creek coal field in South Australia. The State Planning Commission has publicly released the final Assessment Requirements for the downstream component of NRUP, enabling the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The scope of the assessment is for an initial production of one million tonnes of Urea fertiliser per year, although this can be expanded with a second train. The NRUP is in a group of only sixteen other projects of state significance listed on the PlanSA website with Impact Assessed Development status. The Stage 2 NRUP EIS, together with technical assessments and supporting documentation are expected to be lodged in late 2023. NeuRizer has proven the viability of its technology for insitu gasification of coal underground at Leigh Creek.

Titomic completes capital placement

Additive manufacturer Titomic has completed a share placement and the institutional component of its latest capital raise, raising $1.55 million. The funds include a commitment to invest $250,000 by Titomic director Dag Stromme. Titomic is now inviting existing retail shareholders to participate in the retail component of the raise aiming to secure a further $4.95 million through the offer of 2.3 new shares for every one held.

Anagenics reports higher sales, eyes acquisitions

Anti-ageing health and beauty manufacturer Anagenics ha reported FY23 continuing revenue of $9.6 million, up 24 percent on the previous year. However the Sydney company revealed an underlying EBITDA loss of $1.7 million, an improvement from the previous year’s loss of $2 million. At the same time Anagenics said it had assessed 15 potential acquisition and was now in advanced due diligence on two potential synergistic acquisitions. The comopany is targeting close of at least one of these acquisitions in Q1 FY24.

SA teams with BAE Systems for workforce skills

The South Australian government and defence contractor BAE Systems Australia is to work collaboratively to develop the state’s defence workforce and skills, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide. SA Premier Peter Malinauskas said the state was spearheading the largest, most complex naval shipbuilding and defence projects in the nation’s history. “Preparing the industrial base to support defence capability must begin now. This requires strong partnerships with industry. Generating the skilled workforce is the most critical aspect of the industrial base. Through its expertise and experience gained through its UK business, BAE Systems Australia will be an invaluable partner as we undertake this important work.”

Wellnex extends range on sale in UK, Ireland and the UAE

Health products manufacturer Wellnex Life is extending its supply agreement for its innovative soft gel liquid analgesic products with consumer health company Haleon. Building on an existing distribution agreement for Australia and NZ, Haleon will now distribute three products elsewhere including the United Kingdom, Ireland and the UAE. The products are liquid paracetamol soft gel, liquid paracetamol plus caffeine and liquid paracetamol plus ibuprofen. Haleon owns well known brands including Panado, Voltaren and Advil.

Trident Plastics goes into administration

Adelaide plastics manufacturer Trident Plastics has gone into administration with Cor Cordis appointed voluntary administrators. Trident Plastics is one of the largest custom moulders in Australia manufacturing wheelie bins and large tanks and employing approximately 160 people. The company recently expanded with the purchase of Maxiplas Pty Ltd. The company was put into administration following manufacturing and supply chain challenges, together with the impact of Covid-19 and unplanned and unexpected relocation costs associated with Maxiplas. Plastic products have been made at the St Clair plant since the mid-1980s, with the company formerly a major supplier to Holden.

Picture: Ben Kiddle, General Manager HDrive; Queensland Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Minister, Mick de Brenni; Kyle Faulconer, PepsiCo ANZ CEO; Scott Brown, Managing Director, Pure Hydrogen; and Clint Butler: National Sales Manager, Pure Hydrogen. (Supplied.)

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