Olympic games spark growth for industrial burner company

By Andrew Spence of The Lead

An Australian company that shot to international prominence after designing the flame for the Sydney Olympics has become the world’s leading supplier of burners to the iron ore pelletizing market.

South Australian-based FCT International had a small customer base in the cement industry when it designed the burner system for the Olympic torches and the Olympic cauldron for the 2000 games.

They then manufactured 14,000 torches for the Athens Games, the Olympic Cauldron and the spectacular Olympic rings of fire.

FCT Managing Director Con Manias said: “We very quickly became the market leader in that space and we became involved in more and more major events around the world.

“The thing with the flames business is it’s hit a ceiling.”

However, success gave FCT confidence to expand into burner systems for high temperature processing factories including cement, lime, alumina, nickel and iron ore pellets plants.

Offices in key overseas markets and a technology relationship with the University of Adelaide helped double staff to 45.

“As a result of taking the company closer to the markets our orders have increased quite spectacularly… it’s actually been more successful than what we imagined.”

Iron ore is now a driver of growth.

“We’ve supplied more burner equipment than any other company that operates in that iron ore space in the past two or three years,” Manias said.

“At the moment our big projects are in China and Brazil – Vale in Brazil and SinoSteel in China.”

Picture: The Lead/Vancouver winter Olympics

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