The Timberlink Bell Bay facility has officially opened after its first stage upgrade.
Timberlink has approved a $100 million upgrade program to its Australian sawmills.
This generational investment will see the total processing capacity of the Australasian sawmilling company increase by over 15%.
The investment will secure over 1,350 direct and indirect jobs in regional Australia, 650 of which are in Tasmania, for years to come while supporting the residential housing sector with increased timber supply.
At Bell Bay, Timberlink have built a new state of the art contraflow kiln (CFK), which will cut down waiting times for drying timber, whilst decreasing heat power usage by 30%.
The CFK drying process results in timber with a more even moisture content and lower residual stress. This translates to a finished product with improved stability.
Also installed in the first upgrade is a new Lucidyne Scanner in the dry mill, which uses state of the art artificial intelligence (AI) technology, learning with every photo that it takes.
Use of this technology will result in a better product for Timberlink customers, as it will be more accurate than the previous system and is the first of its type in Australia.
Timberlink also have a new strapper and packer, alleviating a bottleneck to improve efficiency.
As part of the upgrade, Timberlink have also completed works to their roads network to separate heavy plant equipment from smaller vehicles.
The recent upgrades have had a significant impact on the community with 90 jobs created in the construction phase, all going back into the Northern Tasmanian economy.
Timberlink have created 6 new full-time jobs being as a result of this upgrade.
“We know how important secure full-time work is in regional communities and we are committed to building a sustainable business that can support George Town and the surrounding areas for the generation,” said Timberlink Chief Executive Officer Ian Tyson.
“We are proud to contribute over $150m to the George Town economy each year.”
Future upgrades to the Green Mill were announced at the federal election this year to install a new scanner, assisted by a $3.5M federal government grant.
This work is scheduled for 2020 and will further increase Timberlink’s efficiency, allowing them to compete in the domestic and international marketplace for many years to come.
“We want the Bell Bay mill to first of all serve the local Tasmanian market with high quality softwood timber, as well as exporting to the mainland,” said Mr Tyson.
“We want to ensure the mill is sustainable in both environmental and economic terms, ensuring secure employment for hundreds of people in Northern Tasmania.”
Timberlink make products from 100% renewable Tasmanian plantation Radiata Pine.
“We create the timber framing, decking and sleepers that Tasmanian and Australian homes are built from and we all live in,” said Mr Tyson.
“Timber really is an amazing product, it’s renewable, reliable and cost-effective.
“For every cubic metre of structural timber framing created here at Bell Bay, we are soaking up 631kgs of CO2 from the atmosphere, stored for the life of that timber.
“Timber really is the the ultimate renewable.”
For more information, visit: www.madeoftasmania.com.au