$2 bil­lion Visy in­vest­ment pledge

Australian Forests and Timber - - Front Page -

An­thony Pratt will in­vest bil­lions of dol­lars into his card­board and re­cy­cling em­pire, which is ex­pected to cre­ate 5,000 new jobs over the next decade. The money will go to­wards a ma­jor ex­pan­sion of Visy’s Aus­tralian op­er­a­tions.

“The $2 bil­lion in­vest­ment pledge I’m an­nounc­ing will be spent ex­pand­ing Visy’s man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties through­out Aus­tralia in­clud­ing new in­vest­ments in clean en­ergy,” he said.

“We are one of the most en­vi­ron­men­tally com­mit­ted com­pa­nies and so much of the $2 bil­lion will be spent on tech­nolo­gies that not only cre­ate those high-pay­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing jobs, but also en­hance sus­tain­abil­ity and en­ergy se­cu­rity.

“At the end of the 10-year in­vest­ment program, Visy’s to­tal in­vest­ment in Aus­tralia will be $8 bil­lion in to­day’s terms, and we will have cre­ated a to­tal of al­most 30,000 di­rect and in­di­rect jobs,” he said.

Mr Pratt made the an­nounce­ment with Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull at the open­ing of Visy’s $1.1 bil­lion pulp and pa­per mill at Tu­mut. The Tu­mut mill has re­cently re­ceived a $100 mil­lion up­grade.

“This shows what in­vest­ment does. You know ev­ery­thing my gov­ern­ment does is de­signed to en­cour­age Aus­tralian busi­nesses to in­vest. Why is that? Be­cause it de­liv­ers jobs,” the Prime Min­is­ter told those at­tend­ing the of­fi­cial func­tion.

“Ev­ery­thing we’re do­ing is try­ing to en­cour­age more in­vest­ment and more jobs. So right across the board ev­ery­thing we’re do­ing is fo­cused on en­cour­ag­ing in­vest­ment of the kind An­thony is mak­ing.

“What you’ve got here is a demon­stra­tion of what you can do with the right technology, the right lead­er­ship, the right vi­sion, the right in­vest­ment. And we’re pro­vid­ing the in­cen­tives.

“In an in­dus­try which many peo­ple are pes­simistic about - man­u­fac­tur­ing - you’ve demon­strated that Aus­tralians can do anything and be world lead­ers and you are,” the Prime Min­is­ter said.

“We con­grat­u­late you, we sa­lute you for the com­mit­ment you’ve made here and that you’re mak­ing to Aus­tralian man­u­fac­tur­ing and Aus­tralian jobs. What a pledge - $2 bil­lion over 10 years, 5,000 jobs. I tell you that’s a big com­mit­ment. That re­ally moves the nee­dle. That will change lives, thou­sands of them for the bet­ter,” Mr Turn­bull said.

Visy Tu­mut is a $1.1 bil­lion pa­per mill and the world’s most mod­ern and sus­tain­able fa­cil­ity of its type.

The high-tech mill man­u­fac­tures pa­per from plan­ta­tion pine logs and sawmill residues.

An­nual pro­duc­tion val­ues ex­ceed $500 mil­lion, with more than 60% of the pa­per ex­ported around the world. This high ex­port fo­cus makes the Tu­mut mill Aus­tralia’s largest ex­porter of ship­ping con­tain­ers of man­u­fac­tured prod­uct. The mill’s fo­cus on man­u­fac­tured ex­ports has a dou­ble ben­e­fit for Aus­tralia be­cause it is help­ing to turn around Aus­tralia’s historic trade deficit in forestry ad pa­per prod­ucts -- cur­rently run­ning at around $2 bil­lion a year.

The Tu­mut project con­trib­utes around $1.5 bil­lion of eco­nomic value to the Aus­tralian econ­omy ev­ery year, plus ma­jor other re­gional ben­e­fits.

The project has cre­ated and sus­tains more than 3,000 per­ma­nent Aus­tralian jobs. These in­clude 300 peo­ple em­ployed within the mill it­self, from en­gi­neers, com­puter op­er­a­tors, pa­per­mak­ers, en­vi­ron­men­tal tech­ni­cians to fi­nance and mar­ket­ing spe­cial­ists.

A fur­ther es­ti­mated 750 di­rect jobs are within forestry, trans­port, con­tract­ing and ser­vic­ing sec­tors, mostly in the South West Slopes re­gion. These in­clude 800 high­lyskilled spe­cial main­te­nance work­ers who are brought into the re­gion ev­ery year for es­sen­tial an­nual main­te­nance of this tech­ni­cally-ad­vanced mill. Flow-on em­ploy­ment gen­er­ated within the re­gion, the state of NSW and na­tion­ally, add an­other 2,100 per­ma­nent jobs.

Add to this the bog con­struc­tion im­pacts with the most re­cent $100 mil­lion up­grade works em­ploy­ing around 1,400 con­struc­tion work­ers through­out the two-year pe­riod.

This is stage three of a program of con­tin­u­ous in­vest­ment in the Visy Tu­mut site, start­ing in 1998 with $450m, then a fur­ther $550m in 2007 and this $100m com­pleted in 2017.

The mill is Aus­tralia’s largest con­tin­u­ous re­new­able en­ergy gen­er­a­tor from biomass, pro­duc­ing 31 Megawatts of re­new­able heat.

Visy Tu­mut also has the high­est wa­ter re­cy­cling rate of any com­pa­ra­ble Kraft mill in the world, and thus uses the low­est amount of fresh­wa­ter per unit of pa­per pro­duc­tion of any such plant.

The mill takes around 2 mil­lion tonnes of plan­ta­tion wood -- for­est thin­nings and mill residues, and about 200,000 tonnes of waste pa­per each year.

Around two-thirds of that wood comes from the Eastern Rive­rina and Mur­ray Val­ley plan­ta­tions and the re­main­der comes from fur­ther afield (mainly from the Mac­quarie and Monaro Re­gions).

Many other ben­e­fits have flowed from this in­vest­ment, es­pe­cially in the re­gion, but also of na­tional sig­nif­i­cance, in­clud­ing:

• A long-term mar­ket for re­gional plan­ta­tion forestry ex­pan­sion

• Car­bon se­ques­tra­tion

• Re­gional de­vel­op­ment

• Sus­tain­ing school and other gov­ern­ment ser­vices

• Taxes and roy­al­ties

• Trans­port pay­ments

What you’ve got here is a demon­stra­tion of what you can do with the right technology, the right lead­er­ship, the right vi­sion, the right in­vest­ment” -- Prime Min­is­ter

■ An­thony Pratt and Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull at the Visy Tu­mut mill.

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