Pulp mill feasibility study underway in WA

While the identity of the Chinese company cannot be revealed, Wayne Trumble, Griffin executive manager for business development, has confirmed that the company already holds a number of interests in Australian forestry plantations. It is expected that the study could take between six months and a year to complete.

The Griffin Group has a significant presence in the Collie area in Western Australia, where it operates a large coal mine as well as owning land in the area. Trumble says that Griffin is aiming to attract a number of industries to the region by establishing an industrial estate, to be named the Coolangatta Industrial Estate, where the pulp mill would also be built. The group is currently seeking approval from the state government to get the land zoned for this purpose.

Apart from commissioning the feasibility study and providing the land for the plant, Griffin also plans to supply a 130 MW coal-fired power plant for the pulp facility, if the project proceeds.

According to Trumble, the mill, if built, is likely to produce chemi-mechanical pulp from blue gum, considering that there is a large number of maturing blue gum plantations in Western Australia. Government estimates state that five million tonnes/yr of plantation timber, mainly blue gum, will be available for harvesting in Western Australia between 2005-2010.

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