TWELVE years after being cast off by mining giant Sons of Gwalia, WA engineering firm RCR Tomlinson has emerged as Australia’s largest boiler maker.The acquisition of Queensland-based John Thompson Package Boilers for $3.5 million in November last year is expected to double the turnover of RCR’s boiler business and give it the largest boiler service book in Australia.It is also a good fit with RCR’s boiler business because its WA facility makes boilers capable of generating up to 15 megawatts of power. JTPB makes boilers capable of producing up to 60 megawatts.These boilers are used for just about any endeavour that requires superheated dry steam, such as food and mineral processing.The JTPB plant is producing a 30 MW boiler for Anchor Foods in New Zealand to produce powdered milk.RCR managing director John Linden said the JTPB acquisition set the company up well for its push into South-East Asia.“We are already quoting some quite large boilers into Asia and Saudi Arabia. There are a lot of applications in the oil and gas industry,” Mr Linden said.“We also have the technology to use different fuels to fire our boilers. They can be fired with biomass, coal, gas – whatever you want.”He said the company set itself the target of reaching $100 million in turnover in 1995 and was “just about there now”.RCR was bought from Sons of Gwalia by its management in 1990 and started out with a general engineering and fabrication shop in Bunbury.It became a public company in 1995, a part benefit of buying Capital Investments. In 1998 the company bought Centurion Industries.Besides boilers, RCR is a major player in general engineering and construction.It is building the four waste digesters for the South West Metropolitan Regional Council’s waste treatment facility in Canning Vale.Each digester will be 70 metres long, have a diameter of 4.6 metres and weigh 350 tonnes.The digesters will be used to produce compost from organic waste and wastewater treatment by-products.
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