Manufacturing news briefs — stories you might have missed

HEO opens USA Office

Satellite monitoring company HEO announced the establishment of its United States of America office, HEO (USA), on Friday (Sydney time). The company said the expansion reflects a commitment to serving new and existing defence, government, and commercial customers in the US market. The new office in the Washington DC metro area will be led by Nate Notargiacomo, an industry veteran with experience in the defence, national security, space, and intelligence sectors. “With our current highly engaged group of customers and partners in the US, the decision to open this office underscores our dedication to meeting the needs of our stakeholders in North America,” said Dr Will Crowe, Co-Founder and CEO of HEO. “With Nate’s leadership, we are confident in our ability to forge strong collaborations and deliver unparalleled insights and solutions for satellite monitoring and inspection to our customers.”

First Graphene finishes phase two trials with Breedon cement

First Graphene has announced progress on its green cement and concrete work, with the second phase of graphene-enhanced cement trials, in collaboration with UK cement producer Breedon Cement at its Hope Cement Works, concluded. According to a statement from First Graphene, the trials used four tonnes of grinding aid containing PureGRAPH to produce an additional 600 tonnes of graphene-enhanced cement at the production scale, and results are expected to be released in January 2024 to compare them against the first phase. Phase one results achieved up to 10 per cent increase in the cement’s early-stage compressive strength and a 15 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions during the manufacturing process.

Fortescue, HTEC sign agreement on green hydrogen offtake

Green energy and metals company Fortescue and Vancouver-based HTEC have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop offtake opportunities for green hydrogen. According to a statement from Fortescue this week, the deal will see them work together to explore building Canada’s first domestic green hydrogen supply chain that is co-located with an export facility in British Columbia (BC). Fortescue is proposing the development of a green hydrogen and green ammonia production facility in Prince George. An Initial Project Description was filed with the BC Environmental Assessment Office in September 2023. Fortescue Canada Country Manager, Stephen Appleton, said, “this is a big step towards building Canada’s first domestic green hydrogen supply chain, which will not only help meet ambitious emissions targets, but also generate significant economic activity, jobs and training opportunities.”

ARC Training Centre for Future Grids to launch on Monday

The new ARC Training Centre for Future Grids at the University of Wollongong  will be launched by Alison Byrnes, federal Cunningham MP, on Monday, December 4 The new training centre was established with a $5 million investment from the Australian Research Council, and “will address the complex and challenging issues currently limiting the growth of renewable energy. The Centre will work to develop the methodologies and technologies that will facilitate the integration of renewable resources into electricity grids while maintaining grid stability.” Speakers will include Byrnes, Professor Patricia M. Davidson, UOW Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor David Currow, UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Sustainable Futures, and Professor Kashem Muttaqi, Director of ARC Training Centre for Future Grids. The Launch of the centre will take place as part of the 2023 IEEE International Conference on Energy Technologies and Future Grids.

New Green Steel appointment

Steel recycling company Green Steel of WA has announced Sarah Stanley, former President of the Shire of Collie, and her team at Gumfire to assist them with local relations and communications, as well as acting as community liaison. In a statement on Linkedin this week, the company said Stanley spent ten years in council and six years as Shire President, is a former chair of the Collie Community Bank branch of the Bendigo Bank, and “has played a significant role in revitalising and bringing new industries to Collie.” It added that she delivers, “a deep understanding of the community and a wealth of local knowledge to the project. We look forward to working with Sarah and her team bring as we work towards making WA’s first steel mill a reality in 2026!”

Manufacturing activity declined in November: Judo Bank PMI

The monthly Australian Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index data for November, published by Judo Bank and S&P Global, saw the headline index decline for the ninth-straight month to 47.7 from October’s result of 48.2. Order book volumes and production levels both declined for a 12th straight month, and a lack of capacity pressure saw sector employment decline for the first time in three years. “The Australian Manufacturing PMI fell further in November to record the lowest reading in the 8-year history of the survey outside of periods of lockdown,” said Warren Hogan, Chief Economic Advisor at Judo Bank. “The PMI fell below 48 which is an index level broadly consistent with a soft landing for the manufacturing sector and the wider economy.”

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