Companies assessing Western Australia's pulp mill proposals have been given an extra month to make their submissions to the State Government.
Deputy Premier Ian Taylor said today the additional time had been granted to reduce scheduling difficulties for overseas companies trying to meet the Government's original December 31 deadline.
"I felt it was fairer to all concerned that more time be granted - particularly as the overseas companies had extra travel to contend with," he said.
Mr Taylor said although the State Government had first sought expressions of interest in August, it was not until the last week of October that the majority of registrations were made.
"In fact, over the weekend, when we announced 18 major companies had registered, even more expressions of interest arrived," he said.
"We now have 23 companies from eight countries, plus Australia, expressing an interest in the proposal."
The Government is hoping to encourage investors to take advantage of the potential of the South-West region to build a $1 billion advanced technology paper pulp mill.
Initially the mill would use a mixture of residues arising out of saw milling operations plus blue gums cut from tree plantations.
But ultimately the mill would run entirely on raw material from plantations.