Australian Paper CEO James Henneberry has announced that the construction of the company’s waste paper recycling plant located in their Maryvale Mill at Victoria’s La Trobe Valley is right on schedule.
The $90million plant, which is the only one of its kind in Australia, will be dedicated to producing premium recycled pulp, with manufacturing expected to begin in the second quarter of 2014, according to a media release.
“I am proud to confirm that construction is well underway,” said Henneberry. “To celebrate the commencement of construction, we arranged a ground-breaking ceremony at Maryvale in February. To symbolise the prosperous and growing partnership between Australian Paper and our owners Nippon Paper (NPI), an Australian Golden Wattle and a Japanese Cherry Blossom were planted side-by-side.”
NPI President Mr. Yoshio Haga travelled from Japan especially for the groundbreaking ceremony.
Australian Paper received the approval to construct the plant from parent company Nippon Paper last October. The plant will have the capacity to produce 50,000 tonnes of recycled pulp each year, which will in turn divert up to 80,000 tonnes of paper away from the landfill. This is the equivalent of more than 16 billion sheets of A4 office paper every year.
“We hope that all Australians will get behind this initiative and help us expand the Australian recycled paper market,” said Henneberry. “It will more than triple Australian Paper’s current usage of recycled pulp.”
In October Henneberry said the plant will enable Australian Paper to produce a much broader range of premium recycled papers for the Australasian region.
“This will further differentiate our products from the imported paper out of Indonesia, China and Thailand that do not share the same local environmental, social and economic benefits as our Australian manufactured papers,” he said.
The Australian Government has committed to provide a $9.5million grant for the construction of the plant. The project will also receive support from the Government of Victoria.
Former, Federal Minister for Industry and Innovation Greg Combet said the decision of Australian Paper to construct the plant demonstrates a commitment to cleaner Australian manufacturing.
“This project is an example of the type of investment Australian manufacturers need to make to maintain their competitiveness and capture new opportunities,” said Mr. Combet.
Aside from the benefits it will bring to the manufacturing sector, the plant will also create and support direct and indirect jobs. The construction is estimated to have create 140 new construction jobs, while the project itself will secure about 100 existing indirect jobs in waste paper collection, sorting and transport around Australia.