Australian Professional Galvanizing will be adding an edge to its kettle and furnace set-up this month during a $1 million scheduled maintenance outage.
Chief executive officer Steve Pollard said the Townsville business was due to replace the kettle – the vessel that holds molten zinc for the galvanising process.
“So we are taking the opportunity while we are doing that to change the furnace design,” he said. “It will be the first Therm-X in Australia.”
The business is receiving a $344,308 grant under the Made in Queensland (MiQ) program to install the Therm-X furnace system.
Mr Pollard said the new system should bring a five per cent cost saving on gas and stretch the time between kettle change-outs from 10-12 years to 12-14 years – a major saving for the business.
It is also expected to push the Townsville plant’s galvanising capacity up from about 12 tonnes-an-hour to 15 or 16 tonnes-an-hour.
The cost of installing the new equipment will be about half of the overall $1 million bill for the planned shutdown, which runs from December 20 to January 20.
That project will involve two 220-tonne cranes from Universal Cranes and some assistance from Dawsons Group in addition to Australian Professional Galvanising’s own workforce and a small number of other tradespeople.
Mr Pollard said the Townsville business was particularly busy at the moment.
He said it was receiving a lot of work from the agricultural sector and jobs associated with State infrastructure projects.
The upsurge in galvanising demand may also partly be catch-up after the major interruption caused by the flooding in the area around February this year, he said.
“To be honest it has come in from everywhere and all sorts of industry – which is good,” Mr Pollard said.
“We can also see it stretching into early next year – as long as we don’t get a repeat of the weather.”