Briefcase: Business snippets from around SA – InDaily


In this week’s briefcase, 3D metal printer AML3D wins a contract to produce an 8-tonne part for ExxonMobil, NeuRizer signs a $1.5 billion urea offtake agreement and a Canberra defence contractor AeroPM sets up in Lot Fourteen.

3D printer to produce 8-tonne part for oil giant

Large-scale 3D metal printing company AML3D has signed a $190,000 manufacturing purchase order with ExxonMobil to create the world’s largest 3D metal printed commercial pressure vessel.

The 8-tonne pressure vessel will be eight metres long and about 1.5 meters in diameter and printed in Adelaide from AML3D’s higher strength metal feedstock.

The listed company said it was chosen because of the advantages of its methods over traditional manufacturing and the significantly faster lead times.

“Production has significantly faster lead times to manufacture of around 12 weeks as opposed to a 12-month lead time for traditional manufacturing, allowing AML3D to address supply chain constraints that ExxonMobil was experiencing and to meet a September 2022 delivery deadline,” the company said in a statement to the market last week.

The large printed vessel will be produced in Adelaide using five of the company’s eight installed ARCEMY systems combined to construct the 8-tonne vessel.

AML3D Managing Director Andrew Sales said the deal with ExxonMobil was an example of its major focus on building capability and presence in the global Oil and Gas sector as an immediate value driver for the business.

“It is also pleasing to note that during discussions with ExxonMobil the advantages of AML3D’s technology over traditional manufacturing were a key consideration,” he said.

“Our proven WAM (wire additive manufacturing) technology disrupts traditional industrial-scale metal manufacturing by producing superior components with a significantly shorter production cycle and a far more sustainable methodology involving less waste and lower energy input.”

AML3D also recently printed what is currently the world’s largest 3D metal printed Oil & Gas high-pressure piping vessel, a 940kg monocoque “piping spool” component.

The piping spool was printed according to the new, stringent American Petroleum Institute (API) Standard 20S, has met all test acceptance criteria and has been verified by Lloyd’s Register.

NeuRizer strikes $1.5b urea deal

A render of the proposed urea processing plant near Leigh Creek.

The South Australian company aiming to turn gas from the former Leigh Creek coal mine into a million tonnes of urea fertiliser a year has signed a binding $1.5 billion deal to sell half of its annual production to a Korean multinational.

This morning’s announcement follows the granting of a state government licence last month allowing access for Adelaide-based NeuRizer to use a network of offices, sheds and warehouses at the former Leigh Creek mine site for the life of the project.

Last month, Korean company DL E&C also took a nine per cent stake in NeuRizer.

The $14.4 million investment (US$10 million) and offtake agreement are major coups for NeuRizer as it progresses the front-end engineering design (FEED) stage of the $2.6 billion project.

Daelim, a 100 per cent subsidiary of DL E&C will buy 500,000 tonnes of granular urea from NeuRizer for the first five years of operation with a contract value of $1.5 billion on forecast prices.

The listed SA company, formerly known as Leigh Creek Energy, already has significant Korean involvement.

Last year it awarded the Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Commissioning and Finance contract for the project to DL E&C Co.

The project has also received a letter of support from a major Korean bank for debt finance of up to $1.5 billion or 70 per cent of the turnkey price of the DL E&C construction contract.

It aims to become the largest underground coal gasification site in Australia and a globally significant producer of nitrogen-based fertiliser for agriculture.

The project, 550km north of Adelaide, will use unconventional technology to extract syngas from beneath the ground at the former coalfield and convert it into a million tonnes of urea a year for agricultural and industrial use.

A final investment decision is expected next year.

The project aims to create 1200 jobs with about 1000 of those on site. The former coal mine, which ceased operation in 2015, is serviced by a 250km rail line to Port Augusta.

The price of urea fertiliser has skyrocketed to about $1600 a tonne in the past year or so due to a number of factors including the war in Ukraine.

NeuRizer managing director Phil Staveley said the Daelim agreement secured significant revenue for the company.

“A further 50 per cent uncontracted urea supply allows us to remain agile to support domestic demand and take advantage of market pricing,” he said in a statement this morning.

“The continued global fertiliser crisis made a compelling case for DL Trading to shore up domestic supply from a reliable and cost-controlled source.”

SA economic recovery on track despite strain on household budgets

South Australia’s export performance will need to improve to compensate for an expected weakening of household and public sector consumption, according to the latest Economic Briefing Report from the University of Adelaide’s SA Centre for Economic Studies.

The report, released on Friday, says the state’s economic recovery is set to continue despite inflation and rising interest rates putting increased strain on household budgets.

“Aggregate spending within the state has grown strongly over the past year in response to strong growth in household consumption and public consumption spending, and a solid, though lockdown- interrupted, rise in dwelling investment,” the SACES report said.

“But with household and public sector consumption expected to weaken, the State’s export performance will need to improve to compensate.”

The SACES report also found:

  • The global economy continues to recover but more slowly than was expected six months ago as a consequence of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and intensifying inflationary pressures.
  • While Australia’s export prices have boomed, little of the associated boost to incomes has flowed through to Australian households.
  • Spending by households, businesses and government have grown solidly through the last year in South Australia.
  • The volume of overseas exports form South Australia had not increased much through the year, but export values have been boosted by strong commodity prices.
  • Construction activity remains strong in South Australia but has been held back by shortages of building materials, cost increases and skilled labour.

These conclusions are contained in the latest Economic Briefing Report prepared by economists from the University of Adelaide’s SA Centre for Economic Studies (SACES).

SACES acting executive director Jim Hancock said the South Australian economy was expected to continue to grow at an above-trend pace in the short term.

“Household spending growth is likely to slow in response to cost-of-living pressures,” he said.

“But the reopening of the nation’s borders will facilitate a recovery in overseas migration which will provide a boost to population growth going forward. It will also help to relieve the inflationary pressures that come from very tight labour market conditions.”

However, Hancock said the global recovery had become “increasingly vulnerable”.

“Any worsening of the war in Ukraine would generate further disruptions and it is not yet clear how much global growth will slow as overseas interest rates are increased to curtail global inflationary pressures,” he said.

“In Australia, the Reserve Bank of Australia faces a delicate balancing act with monetary policy; it needs to return real interest rates to a neutral level with some haste.

“But borrowers have become accustomed to cheap credit and raising rates too far increases the risk of defaults and a major downturn in the housing market.”

Patent is quantum leap for Archer

Archer CEO and co-inventor of the ¹²CQ chip technology Dr Mohammad Choucair (left) and Quantum Technology Manager Dr Martin Fuechsle.

Adelaide-based Archer Materials has been granted a key Australian patent for its 12CQ quantum computing technology.

The patenting approval signals a step forward for the listed company in the race towards the world-first technology being used in everyday products, such as smartphones.

The tech company, which has an office in Adelaide’s Lot Fourteen innovation district, announced this month it now has commercial rights to its 12CQ chip invention.

Archer Materials chief executive officer Dr Mohammad Choucair said that once fully developed, it’s hoped the ultra-powerful 12CQ chip will be able to operate at room-temperature and integrated into everyday electronic devices.

“The patent protects a potential pathway and a proposed qubit processor chip to realise practical forms of computing,” Choucair said.

“Australia is a very important country when it comes to quantum computing and you’d be surprised how many Australians there are leading the way around the world and here in Australia we are at the forefront of quantum computing and quantum technology.

“So, having our patents approved here in Australia is something that’s very important for us and something that’s very significant for us.”

The classic computer uses “bits” to process information with each “bit” valued at either zero or one.

However, a quantum bit, or a qubit, can represent these values simultaneously to run machines faster.

While still early days, the CSIRO says the emerging technology could create more than 16,000 jobs and have an annual turnover of $4 billion annually by 2040.

Archer Materials now has chip-related patents in the United States, China, South Korea, Japan and Europe.

It also has an office in Sydney and is also developing biochip technology in its prototype foundry.

 – Kurtis Eichler

Lot Fourteen adds defence firm

The Lot Fourteen innovation precinct on North Tce.

Defence contractor AeroPM has moved into offices in the Lot Fourteen innovation precinct as it attempts to take advantage of the growing number of defence projects slated for the state.

The professional services consultancy firm specialises in supporting the Australian Department of…


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Briefcase: Business snippets from around SA – InDaily

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