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Gaia EnviroTech welcomes new investors in decarbonisation

Gaia EnviroTech management and team has hosted key investors at its first board meeting following the recent equity investment in Gaia EnviroTech by RFC Ambrian Funds Management (RFM). Bioenergy decarbonisation developer Gaia EnviroTech was spun out of Ballarat, Victoria based Gekko Systems in 2023 in advance of capital raising with the support of Tasmanian manufacturer Elphinstone Pty Ltd. According to Gaia EnviroTech the meeting was ‘a dreamteam team of companies, founders, board members and management who have proven technology and business model commercialisation skills. Brainstorming, planning, aligning our future vision together was the focus of the board meeting as well as engaging with the team and getting to know each other better.’

Adbri closes cement plant for extended maintenance

Building materials producer Adbri has shut down cement manufacturing facility at Birkenhead in Port Adelaide (pictured) to make a ‘significant investment in scheduled maintenance and repairs’. The shutdown of the clinker and cement facility, its’ annual major maintenance exercise, is set to run through to 11 February. The shutdown includes maintenance work on the kiln, cement mills and stack and involves the use of extra cranes, mobile machinery and up to 600 engineering and trade contractors. Adbri said: “Shutdowns are essential in ensuring all machinery continues to operate effectively, both in terms of production and environmentally.”

Arafura Rare Earths appoints new CEO

Arafura Rare Earths has appointed Darryl Cuzzubbo as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer following the departure of Gavin Lockyer. Cuzzubbo joined the board of Arafura in 2021, and also provided management support services to the company. The appointment follows a four month executive search process by consultants Korn Ferry. Arafura is developing the Nolans rare earths project, 135 kilometres from Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.

Steel Research Hub Symposium asks “where to next” for industry   

The University of Wollongong will host the second annual Steel Research Hub Symposium (details linked) this week on February 7 and 8. According to an event summary, it will cover future options for steel research and innovation in Australia that extending beyond the term of the hub, and the central theme is “where to next” for the Australian steel manufacturing industry. UOW Vice Chancellor and President Professor Patricia M. Davidson will open proceedings on February 8. Panellists include David Varcoe from the Australian Steel Institute, Jason Hodges from BlueScope, Bradley Taylor from InfraBuild Wire, and Professor Geoffrey Brooks from Swinburne University. Panellists “will examine potential areas of technological focus, strategic imperatives and challenges the industry faces, possible operating models for undertaking research and innovation in steel in Australia.”

BioCarbon announces move

BioCarbon, which is developing biochar-based briquettes as a replacement for coke in steelmaking, has relocated and expanded with a new processing facility in Bulahdelah, NSW, it announced on Friday. BioCarbon’s briquettes contain pyrolised biomass – woody waste heated in a specialised kiln with little or no oxygen – with a high carbon content, plus a binder to hold the fine, porous char together. These have been trialled as a drop-in replacement in electric arc furnace steelmaking at Molycop and at Infrabuild’s Rooty Hill, NSW site. In a post on Linkedin accompanied by a promotional video, it said: “The move allows for further future expansion and provides direct access to the biomass material, utilising the woody waste from the surrounding sustainable plantation forests.”

Traceability grants awarded

Applications are now open until March 18 for the third round of the federal government’s Traceability Grants Program. The $4 million grant round “provides the opportunity for successful applicants to enhance their existing traceability systems, technologies and approaches to meet current and future challenges” according to a statement made on Monday. “As emerging market access opportunities occur, more farmers, producers and processors are expanding their businesses to meet these and help grow the value of the sector,” said Acting Deputy Secretary for Agricultural Trade, Matt Koval. “These grants aim to address priority areas, including adoption of agricultural traceability and improving return on investment. The program supports collaborative projects to drive the implementation of the National Agricultural Traceability Strategy 2023 to 2033 in its first five years. More information is available at this link.

ACS-A appoints new director to board

Advanced Composite Structures Australia has announced Tony Carolan as a new director on its board. “Tony Carolan’s extensive expertise in advanced composites manufacturing is well aligned with our strategic growth plans,” said Murray Scott, Chairman of ACS Australia​, in a statement shared on Linkedin on Tuesday. “Tony’s proven track record in scaling manufacturing marks a significant milestone in ACS Australia’s journey.”​ The company said that Carolon brings four decades of advanced manufacturing experience, gained during a career spanning the breadth of aerospace and mechanical engineering fields. His career includes senior roles at Hawker de Havilland companies​, and more recently at Marand Precision Engineering. Last year Carolan earned the 2023 Hargrave Award from the Royal Aeronautical Society Australian Division, presented at the 20th Australian International Aerospace Congress.

Picture: Adbri’s Birkenhead cement and clinker facility

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