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Visy on track for $450m paper mill expansion

Thursday, 18 August 2005
By Print 21 Online Article

The proposed second stage of the pulp and paper mill’s expansion would more than double its current capacity of 300,000 tonnes per year to 700,000 tonnes per year. This expansion would be targeted at the export market, and bring Visy’s total investment in the plant to $800 million since the beginning of the decade.

Visy Industries chairman Richard Pratt claims approval for the second stage of the development can be expected by the second quarter of 2006, with construction to commence by the end of that year. He estimates the expansion would lead to the creation of 50 jobs within the mill, as well as an additional 200 positions in the supply of the paper and pulp produced.

The NSW Government contributed $40 million to the initial expansion of the mill that took place in 2001, and Visy are seeking further government assistance to help make the project viable. In a briefing paper issued to the NSW Premier’s Department in late July, Visy claimed the most critical issue to securing the go ahead on the expansion was access to feedstock fibre at economically feasible prices.

Visy currently sources most of the timber used by the mill from pine plantations of Forests NSW. The company is also angling for assistance from the NSW Government in accessing resources closer to the plant’s location in Tamut, another measure to ensure the second expansion is viable.

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