Timber products manufacturer Timberlink Australia Pty Ltd is set to receive a $7.8 million grant from the South Australian government, to use in the strategic upgrade of its sawmill in Tarpeena.
Timberlink and its investment manager New Forests Pty Ltd welcomed the announcement made by South Australia Minister for Manufacturing, Innovation and Trade, Tom Kenyon on Monday.
According to the media release the new investment would increase Timberlink’s processing volume from 460,000 to 575,000 cubic meters annually, and would also improve its productivity and lower manufacturing costs.
“The Tarpeena sawmill has been a key part of the regional softwood timber industry for over 50 years,” said Timberlink CEO, Ian Tyson. “This investment program will assist to increase our international competitiveness, protect Australian jobs in manufacturing, and position us for a recovery in the Australian housing market.”
Not only will the grant contribute substantially to the production of Timberlink, it will also present a number of environmental benefits such as improvements in timber recovery and energy efficiency. It could also result to improved business sustainability due to the reduction in manufacturing costs.
“The Government’s support of capital investment into the Timberlink business is an important step in stabilising the Green Triangle’s softwood plantation forest industry and underpinning local employment,” says James Davies, Head of Funds Management for New Forests and Chairman of Timberlink.
“The project supports local plantations by enabling long-term supply contracts to underline the investment and also provides an opportunity to expand other potential industries around the volume of biomass being generated on one site. For example, Timberlink and New Forests believe co-generation in the region presents multiple business, environmental, and social benefits, all of which come from world class utilisation of plantation-based biomass resources.”
The grant is sponsored by the South East Forest Partnership Program, a state initiative established to promote a viable and competitive timber sawmilling industry.
The Program targets opportunities for capital investment in the South East’s forest and forest products sector, and uses an evaluation criteria to choose the projects it will support. The criteria includes strategic importance for the region, positive and sustainable economic impact, employment, and innovation.