THE Australian government will provide a $9.5 million grant towards a $90 million project to build a de-inked pulp plant at Australian Paper’s Maryvale pulp and paper mill.
The waste paper recycling project will also receive support from the Victorian government which has worked with the Australian government to attract new investment to the region.
The project, which will involve the relocation and significant upgrade of the AMCOR waste paper recycling plant at Fairfield, is expected to create 140 construction jobs and should begin late this year.
Initial production is expected in early 2014.
This investment will increase the competitiveness of the Maryvale mill, which will support the jobs of nearly 900 workers directly employed there and more than 4000 other indirect jobs which rely on the mill’s operations.
The project will create 14 new ongoing jobs, as well as securing about 100 existing indirect jobs in waste paper collection, sorting and transport across Australia.
The new plant will divert more than 80,000 tonnes a year of white waste paper, that would otherwise be exported or go to landfill, into de-inked pulp which can then be used to manufacture recycled fine white paper.
Australian Paper expects the plant will enable it to achieve a six-fold increase in output of recycled fibre containing papers and to reduce its reliance on native forest fibre.
Australian Paper chief executive Jim Henneberry commented the new white paper recycling facility “would enable us to broaden our recycled paper portfolio to a wide range of papers that will contain a variety of recycled content to meet consumer needs”.
“The support of the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments was a key consideration for this investment by Nippon Paper Group,” he said.
The plant’s relocation and recommissioning will also be part financed by a loan from Low Carbon Australia, an independent company established by the Australian government to deliver finance to help the move towards a low carbon economy.
Low Carbon Australia’s chief executive officer Meg McDonald said the project would boost availability of low carbon paper products.
“This exciting recycled paper project builds upon the already strong relationship between Low Carbon Australia and Australian Paper, which has a substantial range of National Carbon Offset Standard certified carbon neutral papers.”
For more read Friday’s Gippsland Times.