A trial plantation timber mill might be set up to aid training for a jobs-rich mill development planned for Hampshire.
The Hermal Group was considering establishing a small trial site, preferably in the Burnie-Wynyard area, senior manager of special projects James Lantry said.
“The purpose is to work through any issues around the product and begin the process of engaging and training staff,” Mr Lantry said.
“The preference would be the Burnie-Wynyard area.
“It comes down to the challenge of being able to get a site that could be operational within six months.
“We would need a site with established and current use or which would have very few, if any, impediments, for example, one previously used for such an activity.”
The $190 million Hampshire mill and timber product manufacturing facility project is expected to create about 200 permanent jobs.
The Hermal Group is aiming for construction in 2019 and a production start in late 2019 or in 2020.
“We’re continuing down the process of due diligence and preparing material required for assessment processes by authorities like the EPA and the (Burnie City) Council,” Mr Lantry said.
He said the company was working as quickly as possible and intended to start the submission process this year.
The work would include traffic surveys, assessment of power usage and flora and fauna studies, which Mr Lantry described as standard inputs for a development application.
He said the company would know more about the project timeline once it was clear about any issues which came up in the approvals process.
The company announced its Hampshire site, near the Ridgley Hwy, in May.
At the time, Mr Lantry said it was expected to be a 40, 50 or 60-year project.
It is expected to be Australia’s biggest sustainable plantation-based hardwood mill and the nation’s biggest hardwood timber products manufacturing plant.
Tasmanian company Forico will supply timber.