Sun shines its magic on work­force

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - CLARE ARMSTRONG

JUST one day af­ter an­nounc­ing a $ 300 mil­lion ex­pan­sion of its Townsville zinc re­fin­ery Sun Me­tals Cor­po­ra­tion has al­ready be­gun work on the project.

The South Korea- owned com­pany con­firmed it has started pre­par­ing the ten­der­ing process for the con­struc­tion con­tract, while an ex­ist­ing Sun Me­tals team is con­duct­ing early plan­ning works.

The ex­pan­sion, which was for­mally an­nounced by the com­pany with Premier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk yes­ter­day, is ex­pected to cre­ate about 350 jobs dur­ing con­struc­tion and 100 per­ma­nent jobs once com­plete.

The ex­pan­sion is due to fin­ish con­struc­tion in the first half of 2021.

Sun Me­tals ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Kathy Dana­her said the new on­go­ing jobs would be cre­ated through­out the re­fin­ery’s sup­ply chain.

“The on­go­ing jobs are a mix­ture of process peo­ple, so there will be more process peo­ple in the re­fin­ery, there will also be more lo­gis­tics peo­ple in terms of truck­ing and work­ing through with the Port,” she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said the Gov­ern­ment had helped Sun Me­tals re­solve is­sues with trans­port and ac­cess to the Port of Townsville that had ini­tially stalled the ex­pan­sion plan.

“We needed some trans­port is­sues re­solved so they were fi­nalised … and also there was ac­cess to the ex­tra berths at the port and the abil­ity to also use a new mo­bile har­bour crane and those is­sues were re­solved with the port just ear­lier this week,” she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said she be­lieved projects like the ex­pan­sion would help bring down Townsville’s high un­em­ploy­ment rate.

“It’s an­nounce­ments like this that clearly show jobs are on the hori­zon,” she said.

“I know that peo­ple have been do­ing it tough, and a lot of peo­ple have been do­ing it tough since the clo­sure of Queens­land Nickel and we all know what hap­pened there.”

Sun Me­tals chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Yun Choi said the project would have a “sig­nif­i­cant” eco­nomic im­pact on the Townsville re­gion.

Mr Choi said the ex­pan­sion was part of Sun Metal’s “re­lent­less” pur­suit of their mis­sion.

“Sun Me­tals’ mis­sion is to be­come the safest, the most en­vi­ron­men­tally re­spon­si­ble and the most com­pet­i­tive zinc re­fin­ery in the world,” he said.

Once the ex­pan­sion is com­plete the plant’s pro­duc­tion of zinc in­got will in­crease by about 20 per cent.

The re­fin­ery’s con­sump­tion of elec­tric­ity will also in­crease by about 22 per cent.

Ear­lier this year Sun Me­tals com­pleted con­struc­tion of a $ 200 mil­lion 125 megawatt so­lar farm, which now pro­vides about 30 per cent of the re­fin­ery’s elec­tric­ity.

The re­fin­ery cur­rently di­rectly em­ploys about 270 peo­ple and sup­ports about 100 fur­ther jobs through con­trac­tors.

JOBS BOOST: Premier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk an­nounces the Sun Me­tals zinc re­fin­ery ex­pan­sion.

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