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Industry News


FOCUS Enviro becomes exclusive UNTHA distribution partner in Australia


F


OCUS Enviro – the waste and organic equipment specialist – has secured an exclusive agreement with UNTHA, making it the distribution partner for UNTHA’s shredding technology, in Australia. Headquartered in New South


Wales – plus with a presence in Victoria, Queensland and the West – FOCUS has amassed a cross-country reputation for bringing world-class machinery to its national client base. Now UNTHA’s world-renowned


static and mobile XR shredders for PEF (process engineered fuel) production, have been added to the portfolio. This agreement to integrate UNTHA into its suite of solutions has been ten years in the making and reflects the growing appetite for Australian operators to turn ‘waste’ into a resource. “UNTHA’s waste shredding


technology has been on our radar for the last decade,” commented Robbie McKernan, director of FOCUS Enviro. “We’ve been intently watching the number of RDF and SRF plants that have come online in the UK, and places like Austria, Germany and Denmark. 10 years of industry analysis means we can pass on best-practice advice to clients in Australia.


the world at present. “Alternative fuel production is in its


FOCUS Enviro director Robbie McKernan with Peter Streinik, UNTHA’s Vice President of Sales & Business Development.


“We’ve seen what has and


hasn’t worked, how the market has changed, and how alternative (process engineered) fuel production lines can be optimised for maximum product quality, bottom line impact and environmental gain. But as the Australian PEF market is now gaining traction, we need best-in- class technology as robust as our knowledge. We wanted to integrate UNTHA into our offering, but to represent them on an exclusive basis here, is a real honour.” With UNTHA’s XR shredder able to


process an array of input materials to meet defined fuel specifications for cement plants through to biomass burners, Robbie hopes UNTHA’s introduction into the market will


actually help drive quality. “We’ve always had the capacity to


produce process engineered fuel as it is known here,” added Robbie. “The challenge has been driving acceptance and securing outlets for the resource. Some Australian waste management companies are producing and exporting fuels, but the specifications remain extremely varied. As the market matures – and more small- medium businesses enter with their eyes on best-practice – I would hope UNTHA can help drive standardisation when it comes to fraction sizing, product quality and calorific value.” UNTHA’s director for global business development, Gary Moore, believes Australia has one of the most exciting Energy from Waste markets in


Waste wood market remains buoyant


The amount of waste wood processed in the UK last year (2018) rose by almost 1.5% from the previous 12 months, according to figures released by the Wood Recyclers’ Association (WRA). There was also a 10% increase in


the processing of grade A material (packaging waste wood) into animal bedding, and biomass wood fuel usage was up by 24% overall, compared to 2017. The figures are the findings of the


WRA’s annual survey of its members which showed that WRA members themselves processed 3.4 million tonnes of waste wood last year, an increase of more than 6% on 2017.


This is a reflection not only of


more waste wood being processed, but more processors joining the WRA, which now represents over 90% of the UK’s waste wood industry. In 2017 it represented 86%. Using these statistics, the WRA


estimates the total UK figure for waste wood processed was 3.75 million tonnes in 2018, an increase of 1.43% on the previous year. It also estimates the amount of


waste wood generated in 2018 was around 4.5 million tonnes compared to 5 million tonnes in 2017. This, it believes, is a reflection of fluctuating economic activity including a slight downturn in construction and DIY.


Julia Turner, Executive Director of the WRA, said the statistics show the UK’s waste wood industry remains buoyant but highlighted that a drop in estimated waste wood availability could see the UK needing to import waste wood as more biomass plants come on stream, or look to use alternative fuels. “Biomass usage in the UK was


up by 24% to 2.1 million tonnes last year,” said Julia. “This is a reflection of the number of new plants that have come on stream. Biomass is now the biggest single user of waste wood in the UK and has doubled since 2016. “There are circa 30 larger scale


infancy here, in comparison to parts of Europe for instance,” he said. “But landfill rates are rising, environmental pressures are mounting, China’s landmark movement has forced a new direction for the country’s waste framework, and a number of international waste operators, with a presence in Australia, are driving a global knowledge transfer programme to strengthen resource security. “We know of Robbie’s work and


feel that FOCUS Enviro has the right technology and service ethos to represent the UNTHA brand in Australia. You only have to look at the role they had at the recent Energy from Waste conference in Melbourne to see that they are the partner to talk to in this sector.” Once a familiar name only in Austria and neighbouring countries, UNTHA has grown to have an established presence throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. Over 9,000 shredders are now installed worldwide, and global growth of 25% is predicted in the next 12 months. “Australia’s contribution to the


overall company turnover will see significant increase over the next five years,” concluded Gary.


biomass plants in total planned for the UK. We don’t expect there to be any more but when all of those are commissioned and operational, it will see a huge demand for waste wood in the UK which could mean we have to import some fuel.” Export figures remained similar


last year as in 2017 at 313,000 tonnes. This was due to the fact that the UK was processing for planned biomass plants that faced delays in commissioning, so the fuel continued to be exported. Panel board usage was slightly


lower in 2018 at 877,000 tonnes compared to 924,000 tonnes in 2017. This was caused by one of the plants being down for a short period of time.


Summer 2019 Forest Bioenergy Review 5


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