A proposed new $54 million mill at Bell Bay, George Town, will be a hardwood rotary peel and engineered timber mill if approved.
The proposal for the mill comes from Patriach Resources Pty Ltd, a company recently formed by private investors with a history in the timber industry in Malaysia.
Director Allen Wong said Patriarch planned to purchase wood from existing public and private sources, comprising (Forest Stewardship Council) certified wood from plantations and native forests that was currently wood chipped.
Patriach has purchased the former Southern Aluminium Wheel Plant site at Bell Bay, and is working to obtain the appropriate approvals.
Mr Wong said if approved the development would occur in three stages.
The construction of stage one and two is worth more than $28 million, covering site purchase, adaption of the factory and plant and equipment.
“More than $4 million in local building and electrical work will be required and will be directed to local firms as much as possible,” he said.
Patriarch estimates that the project will create between 30 to 40 jobs during construction, while the operation of the facility will create up to 80 positions.
“A third stage – a proposed engineered timber stage – will involve an additional investment of more than $22 million and will create further training and employment opportunities,” he said.
“The proposed veneer mill will provide opportunities for wood currently planned to be harvested to benefit from an additional value-adding process.
“This will involve a different approach to resource utilisation and management, and will require a significant investment in a range of innovations.”