Australian magnet orders for NZ companies

Two companies had won contracts worth more than $6 million to supply magnets for Australia's synchrotron project, Finance Minister Michael Cullen said yesterday.

In Melbourne for talks with Australian Treasurer Peter Costello, he visited the synchrotron site where the electron-accelerating machine is due for completion in 2007.

New Zealand has invested $9 million in the A$200 million ($223 million) synchrotron through a consortium of Crown research institutes, universities and the Government.

A synchrotron is a machine about the size of a football field that accelerates electrons to almost the speed of light and is used for research in fields ranging from cancer radiation to engineering.

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