Aust paper manufacturing future receives investment boost
The peak body representing the forest, wood and paper products industry has welcomed the recent opening of the new Light Weight Coated (LWC) paper machine by Norske Skog at its Boyer mill in Tasmania.
The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Chief Executive Officer Ross Hampton said; "This is an excellent example of a company with a strong connection in the region backing the future of paper manufacturing in Australia.
"The conversion of one of the mill's two newsprint machines to the production of LWC paper, known as Vantage, will diversify its product range and take advantage of the strong demand for paper magazines and catalogues in Australia.
"Importantly, the converted machine has an annual capacity of 140 000 tonnes of LWC paper which will be able to help reduce our reliance on imports and contribute to a better balance of trade," Hampton said.
The $85 million conversion project generated 250 jobs during the peak of construction and the Boyer mill supports over 1200 direct and indirect jobs each year.
"Investment in the LWC paper machine at the Boyer mill demonstrates the confidence of the industry in investing in the future of pulp and paper manufacturing in this country, which has significant potential to grow and diversify."
In 2010, the Pulp and Paper Industry Strategy Group identified that with the right policy settings the industry could contribute as much as $38 billion to the national economy with a further 3500 jobs by 2020.
These growth opportunities reflect the demand for a range of paper products in both Australia and Asia as well as the scope for greater diversification including increased recycling and use of wood fibre for renewable energy.