Eric Ripper

Eric Ripper

Deputy Premier; Treasurer; Minister for State Development

    $8.6million for Great Southern timber precinct

    17/08/2007 1:00 PM
     
    17/8/07

    Expansion plans for the Great Southern timber industry have progressed this week with the State Government providing funding for infrastructure at the Mirambeena Timber Processing Precinct.

    State Development Minister Eric Ripper finalised an $8.6million agreement with Lignor Ltd to provide infrastructure services for its unique engineered strand lumber facility, which will be located in the Mirambeena precinct near Albany.

    Mr Ripper said the Financial Assistance Agreement, signed in Albany today, would not only benefit Lignor, but also the wider Western Australian timber industry.

    “The State Government’s $8.6million in funding paves the way for Lignor to establish common user infrastructure that will benefit a range of businesses at the Mirambeena timber processing precinct,” he said.

    “There is currently more than $600million of investment planned for Mirambeena that will provide benefits through vital access to land, power and roads.”

    The Mirambeena precinct is designed to cater for businesses involved in value-adding to the region’s vast plantation blue gum timber resource.

    Lignor would use a groundbreaking process at the precinct, to create a strand lumber product that was expected to take the place of many imported timber products. The lumber product rivalled the durability of steel and was weatherproof, and white ant resistant.

    Other proponents are looking to establish a wood pelletising facility, chipping facilities and biomass power stations using timber waste at the Mirambeena precinct.

    The Minister said the WA Government recognised the importance of value-adding to the timber industry.

    “The State Government is committed to supporting these projects, for the benefit of the State’s timber industry and economy, and particularly for the Great Southern region,” he said.

    Mr Ripper said that when the Lignor project was established, it would be the most advanced and one of the largest timber processing businesses in Australia.

    Construction of the $350million facility was expected to commence immediately after the completion of the capital raising program in 2009. Once construction is completed, the facility would employ about 140 people and indirectly create more than 500 jobs in the transport, harvesting and services sector.

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