FOCUS Enviro partners with UNTHA to bring shredding technology to Australia

Waste and organic equipment specialist FOCUS Enviro has secured an agreement to be UNTHA’s exclusive distribution partner for its shredding technology in Australia.

Through this agreement, UNTHA’s static and mobile XR shredders for process engineered fuel (PEF) production will now be made available in the country, making it easier for Australian operators to turn their waste into a resource.

FOCUS Enviro director Robbie McKernan said the company has known of the UNTHA brand for quite some time now because they are so synonymous in the energy from waste (EfW) sector and are well-known as one of the top manufacturers of related equipment.

“UNTHA’s waste shredding technology has been on our radar for at least the last decade. We’ve been intently watching the number of refuse-derived fuel (RDF) and solid recovered fuel (SRF) plants that have come online in the UK and places like Austria, Germany and Denmark. Ten years of industry analysis means we’re now armed with best-practice advice to pass on to clients in Australia.

“We’ve seen what has and hasn’t worked, how the market has changed, and how alternative PEF 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,” McKernan said.

FOCUS Enviro partnered with UNTHA to be in the best position to address the requirements of the EfW market, as well as being able to address the markets both nationally and internationally, he explained.

“I suppose we have just been in a really fortunate position where we have had a fair bit of experience in the UK with these marketplaces, and we’ve seen this rollercoaster of what has happened with the alternative fuel market over there and that has just armed us to better inform our clients in terms of technology choice, as well as what’s achievable and what’s not achievable in this space.”

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, McKernan hopes UNTHA’s introduction into the market will help drive quality.

“The markets are not as developed  as they are in Europe, but certainly we want to be ahead of the curve. We are starting to see a bit of a Groundhog Day situation, in which what was happening in the early UK markets is now happening here, and we need to position ourselves with the right manufacturers to ensure that the solutions we provide for the industry are the right ones,” McKernan said.

“We’ve always had the capacity to produce engineered fuel, as it is known here in Australia. 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 sized businesses enter with their eyes on best-practice, I would hope that UNTHA can help drive standardisation when it comes to fraction sizing, product quality and calorific value. We don’t have to do a lot of reinventing of the wheel – what’s capable from the equipment and its production and performance and tonnage capacity is already very well defined,” he said.

UNTHA director for global business development, Gary Moore, said Australia has one of the most exciting EfW markets in the world at present.

“Alternative fuel production is in its infancy here, in comparison to parts of Europe for instance. 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 program to strengthen resource security,” Moore said.

“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 EfW conference in Melbourne to see that they are the partner to talk to in this sector. Australia’s contribution to the overall company turnover will see significant increase over the next five years,” Moore said.