DONGWHA Timbers sawmill in Bombala will lead the way in energy efficiency and reducing pollution thanks to an $8.2million Gillard Government grant announced last Friday.
Part of the Gillard Government’s Clean Technology Investment Program, the grant will allow Dongwha to consolidate its operations from two sites into one facility, and invest in new equipment and technology to replace carbon intensive machinery.
As part of the funding agreement, Dongwha Timbers will invest over $16 million into the project.
The grant will result in an expected reduction of Dongwha Timbers’ site-wide carbon emissions intensity by 35.7%.
Dongwha Timbers’ Managing Director, Bart Crawley, welcomed the grant announcement last week.
“The funding which comes from this grant will enable us to purchase new plant and equipment, which in turn will significantly cut our mill’s energy costs and reduce carbon pollution,” Mr Crawley said.
“Dongwha Timbers will invest in energy-efficient equipment and technology to replace existing carbon intensive machines and upgrade the site to a more environmentally sustainable standard.
“The company’s two operating sites in Victoria and New South Wales will be consolidated to a single site at Bombala,” Mr Crawley said.
“Care for the environment is central to Dongwha’s Australian and overseas operations. In addition, increasing numbers of our customers seek assurance that their timber comes from an environmentally conscientious manufacturer.
“We are pleased that we can invest in clean technology and further support the values of our customers and our company.”
Continuing, Mr Crawley said the grant will have positive implications for the Bombala region.
“The support of Government has allowed Dongwha Timbers to upgrade our ageing non-sustainable timber manufacturing facilities into a world-class sawmill that will be an asset to the Bombala region.
“In addition to the environmental benefits, there will be a positive impact on the regional economy and employment. Jobs will be created, local suppliers will have the opportunity to provide goods and services for the project and our employees will have opportunities to develop their ‘green’ skills,” Mr Crawley said.
Member for Eden-Monaro, Mike Kelly visited Dongwha last week to congratulate staff and management, agreeing that the benefits of the grant would spread throughout the region.
“Ultimately the changes Dongwha will make as part of this project are good for the company, good for the community, good for the economy and good for the environment,” Dr Kelly said.
“It is a great example of what the Government’s Clean Energy Future plan means on the ground, and adds to the $4.7million we have already put towards this project through the Regional Development Australia Fund.
“We are investing heavily in a project which is forecast to generate $200million in business investment over four years, hundreds of jobs and potential for business partnerships throughout Eden-Monaro.”
Plans to officially launch the $74 million mill are underway and are expected to occur in April/May 2013.
Construction is currently on track and, once complete, the mill will increase log processing capabilities from 100,000 tonnes to over 300,000 tonnes per annum.