Held in Newcastle on 23 March, the Austmine Supply Chain Innovation Panel Smart Mining Networking Event explored the changing demands of major buyers and the current focus areas for innovation and technology at mining operations.
Ampcontrol’s Executive General Manager – Innovation & Service, Warwick Sommer brought his expertise to the panel, along with Komatsu Australia Managing Director and CEO, Sean Taylor and Quarry Mining’s Managing Director, Kari Armitage; where these senior METS leaders in the Hunter region shared their expertise around the changing market conditions and emerging growth avenues into the future.
With a long history supplying solutions to the mining industry, Ampcontrol have contributed to the coal mining industry by improving efficiency and safety for their customers.
The panel discussed that while thermal coal power generation remains of central importance to the Hunter region, there needs to be a long-term transition that businesses within this supply chain must prepare for.
“At Ampcontrol we’ve been working on this transition for some years now. That’s seen our business develop and deliver solutions into the renewable energy market with our R&D team investigating a range of grid and off-grid solutions. A recent example is the Standalone Power System that we have developed with Horizon Power in WA. That solution is designed to take more remote customers connected to ‘SWER’ lines off grid without seeing any difference in supply certainty. Additionally, we are currently investigating a range of solutions in the new energy space including hydrogen,” said Mr Sommer.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has however shown that the sovereign and supply chain risks associated with overseas supply are real and not theoretical.”
“I’m optimistic about the ability of the people in the Hunter to deal with significant change. We’ve seen major industries reinvent themselves and the region has come out stronger together. Resources will be part of the Hunter’s future for some time but it can’t be its only future. We need to be working with Government and industry members now to define how our energy solutions transition away from non-renewable,” he said.