T.W. Woods receives Federal grant for clean energy investment

A Newcastle company that has invested millions in redeveloping its facilities to expand its Australian and global customer base has been recognised with a Federal Government grant to invest in clean and renewable resources.

The T.W. Woods Group – which manufactures materials handling technology including transfer chutes and loading gates for many of Australia’s biggest resources and energy companies – will receive up to $153,900 from the Federal Government’s revenue in revenue from the carbon price.

The announcement came as T.W. Woods celebrates its 50th anniversary after undertaking a three-year expansion of its Tomago facility from which it operates nationally and exports as far afield as Canada and China.

The company has also become a valued supplier to the water treatment and materials handling industry because of its investment in expanded capacity to process specialised metals and manufacture complex shapes required for special-purpose tanks, silos and pressure vessels.

The grant is expected to help the company reduce power bills and carbon emissions. Energy bills will be reduced by $60,000 per year. At the same time the company will cut carbon pollution by reducing the energy intensity of their operations by 32 per cent.

This will be achieved by replacing compressors and lighting, as well as investing in photoelectric cells to regulate lights, the installation of additional translucent roof panels and variable speed control of their grit blast exhaust fan, and upgraded hot water systems.

A train loader produced at the Tomago plant.(Pictured alongside: A train loader produced at the Tomago plant.)

T.W. Woods Managing Director Tom Woods said the grant reinforced his company’s own investment in the type of cleaner and greener technologies that environmentally sensitive customers are increasingly requiring of their suppliers.

“Because we are exporting nationally and internationally we have to be able to demonstrate to global companies that we share their corporate ethos of environmental responsibility.

"We have already poured large sums of our own money into advanced and efficient technologies such as our plasma cutting bed for plate profiling and processing. So to get this grant in addition is a bit of a birthday present for our 50 year celebrations,” he said.

New facilities and products from T.W. Woods include:

  • A 1000-ton brake press to further expand its ability to handle some of the largest metal forming tasks required by Australian industry. The 1000-tonX3.2m brake press can press form steel plate up to 60mm thick. T.W. Woods specialised shaping, fabrication and welding technology handles metals including carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminium.
     
  • A 400 sq m plate processing facility including a 300 amp cad-cam profile plasma cutting bed capable of cutting 13m X 3.5m plates up to 60mm thick with plasma, and more than 150mm with oxy. The facility also houses a 1600am stud welding machine and a plate handling and processing facility serviced by a 10-tonne overhead gantry crane.
     
  • New custom-fabricated wear plate kits introduced for the maintenance of heavy machinery. The kits – typically employed on heavy bulldozers, trucks, graders and loaders – are precision cut, processed and packaged at the company’s new plate processing facility which also handles challenging maintenance and fabrication tasks involving tanks, silo, chute, loader and other materials handling equipment.
     
  • Smooth flowing underground and surface transfer chutes that overcome space, spillage and conveyor bulking problems common in coal mining and coal handling facilities. The tough hardened steel design – built to easily outlast conventional types – is complemented by refurbishment of existing chutes to considerably extend their lifespan.
     
  • An 800 sq m paint and blasting facility incorporating a sand blast chamber with 10-metre high ceiling to handle large jobs, feeding directly to a state-of-the-art 720 sq m industrial paint shop with 12m entry door to handle major projects.

Housed in new buildings on the company’s two-hectare site with Hunter River frontage, the new facilities complement 4,000 sq m of workshop area in which the company undertakes medium to heavy steel fabrication, plate rolling and pressing and manufacturing of materials handling equipment including chromium carbide clad plate hardened steel products.

T.W. Woods products are used by companies such as Delta Energy, Incitec Pivot, Integra Coal, Laing O’Rourke, Xstrata and surface and underground mining companies throughout Australia including iron ore producers in the Pilbara and coal companies in Queensland.