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Explosive boosters: Orica/Thales team up

First publishedin Aggregates Business International
July August 2016
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Pentex Global Boosters
Key target markets for Pentex Global Boosters include quarrying
Orica and Thales Australia, a global technology leader for the aerospace, transport, defence and security markets, have signed a ten-year contract for Thales to produce five million explosive boosters each year.

Boosters are small explosive devices that help detonate larger charges, and are used extensively across Australia’s mining and construction industries.

Pentex Global Boosters will eventually be available globally with key target markets being surface metal, surface coal, quarry and construction.

Initial introduction of Pentex Global Boosters will be in North America and Australia Pacific. The following phase will introduce the Pentex Global Booster range to Asia, Latin America, followed by Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

The order will increase manufacturing activity at the Benalla, Victoria, and Mulwala, New South Wales, facilities operated by Thales, including the establishment of a new multimillion dollar production line for the boosters, designed and built in Victoria.

The boosters themselves are an advanced new product designed by Orica.

“The agreement with Thales will make Orica even more competitive in Australia, with better quality booster products. It will enhance security of supply for our customers, and be more efficient for Orica,” says Alberto Calderon, Orica CEO.

Chris Jenkins, Thales Australia CEO, says: “We would also like to thank the Department of Defence for its strong support of this initiative.”

The new contract sustains around 100 jobs. Approximately 200 people currently work at Benalla, and 400 at Mulwala.

Key Australian component suppliers will also benefit from increased annual orders from Thales as a result of the deal.
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