Boyer still worth big bikkies to state

THE Norske Skog paper mill at Boyer Mill had far reaching impacts on the Tasmanian and Australian economies, state treasurer and Minister for Economic Development, Michael Aird MLC, said recently. He said the mill’s annual production represented about 40 per cent of the newsprint and related grades of paper  used in Australia each year.

“Ninety-seven per cent of this production is transported to interstate customers,” Mr Aird said. “It is also a major customer of the Tasmanian rail network and Bass Strait shipping. Each year the mill transports more than one million tonnes of finished product and raw materials. The mill’s annual contribution to Tasmania’s gross state product has been estimated at approximately $390 million, and the employment creates more than 900 jobs, this includes 340 direct employees,” Mr Aird said.

Mr Aird made the remarks in a press statement congratulating Norske Skog and BIS Industrial Logistics on the successful completion of the $50 million Softwood Conversion Project and Integrated Woodchip Plant. The project was officially opened on November 16 by the Governor, Peter Underwood.

Mr Aird said the Tasmanian Government had recognised the importance of the project to the state and provided a $10 million loan to Norske Skog.  “In addition to this assistance, support was also provided through the Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement (TCFA) industry assistance program jointly administered by the Tasmanian and Australian Governments,” he said. 

“The Softwood Conversion Project converts the Boyer site away from using eucalypt based cold caustic soda (CCS) processing lines to a new plantation softwood based thermo-mechanical pulp plant (TMP). The project involved investment of $27.6 million by Norske Skog and a separate investment of $22.5 million in an Integrated Woodchip Plant which will be owned and operated by BIS Industrial Logistics that is integral to the success of Norske Skog’s Softwood Conversion Project. The wood chipping facility will supply the entire feedstock requirement of Norske Skog’s new processes,” he said.

Mr Aird said the State Government was committed to an environmentally sustainable and prosperous forest and forest products industry.

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