Media release | 24 April 2018
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW and Small Business John Barilaro, and the member for Bathurst Paul Toole today announced Lithgow company Nu-Rock has received a $500,000 interest-free loan from the NSW Government, to help the company develop its ground-breaking technology which turns ash waste from coal-fired power stations into environmentally friendly bricks.
The half million dollar Regional Growth Loan will assist Nu-Rock build a brick and block factory at Mount Piper, creating 21 new full time jobs over five years.
Mr Barilaro said the NSW Government is excited to be backing Nu-Rock and its ground-breaking technology.
“This is a revolutionary company that is recycling waste from an existing industry in the Central West, and turning into a useful and profitable by-product,” Mr Barilaro said.
“This is a perfect example of how our interest-free loans program can give regional NSW businesses like Nu-Rock the opportunity and financial backing to innovate and grow.
“Access to finance can often be a huge hurdle for regional business owners, and these loans are all about giving business with great potential, the finance they need to bring their ideas to life and create jobs for other people,” he said.
Nu-Rock received the $500,000 interest-free Regional Growth Loan through the NSW Government-backed Jobs for NSW. The Regional Growth Loan is part of a suite of financial support products on offer from Jobs for NSW.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said the company was a great example of a smart Central West NSW startup.
“This is great news for Mount Piper, the Central West and for the entire state,” Mr Toole said.
“I want to see more startups from the region getting the support they need to get their ideas up, and I encourage local entrepreneurs to find out more about what’s on offer from Jobs for NSW to help make that happen,” he said.
Nu-Rock founder and managing director Maroun Rahme said the company’s revolutionary design was 20 years in the making.
“Our goal has been to take environmental waste from power stations and make bricks and blocks for the building industry that are stronger than concrete but can sell for a lot less,” Mr Rahme said.
“Nu-Rock’s unique technology means our products are made using a fraction of the energy of a gas-fired brick,” he said.
Mr Rahme said Nu-Rock blocks and bricks are three times as strong as gas-fired bricks but use just two per cent of the energy to manufacture.
“We hadn’t been selling our blocks for long before energy utilities began to realise we could turn their waste into a profit,” Mr Rahme said.
“Our technology was initially tested by the CSIRO and most recently by the University of Western Sydney University NSW.
“Within two years we hope to have up to four full-size production plants in NSW and enough in five years to put a big dent in the waste stream,” he said.
Mr Rahme said Jobs for NSW had been an incredible support to the company.
“The loan has allowed us to upgrade our plant and we are now in negotiations with several energy utilities to build plants on their sites,” he said.