Community joins in Boyer mill celebration

Jun 16, 2014 at 12:32 pm by Staff

Community and employee representatives joined Norske Skog Australia for the official opening of the Boyer mill paper machine conversion last week.

Cutting a ribbon to mark completion of the $85 million project were the local mayor, and the mill’s general manager and union representative.

The 18-month project involved the conversion of one of the mill’s two newsprint machines to produce LWC paper, which is being branded as Vantage.

Norske Skog regional president Andrew Leighton thanked federal and state governments for supporting the project, adding to the “significant capital investment” by the mill’s owners.

“This project is a key component of our regional strategy to transform the business from being wholly a newsprint producer to having a more diverse future in paper, fibre and energy,” he says.

He congratulate the Boyer team on painstaking work in upgrading and extending an existing machine, machinery supplier Metso, on-site coating filler supplier Omya, design engineering partners Beca Amec and the many local Tasmanian contractors and suppliers for their contributions to the project. “In addition we have drawn upon Norske Skog’s global knowledge and expertise,” he says.

“This has been a real team effort across our entire business and literally hundreds of people have been involved in one way or another to make it a success.”

Mill general manager Rod Bender said everyone employed at the mill appreciated its importance to the mill’s future and was grateful for the bi-partisan government support received. “This project has been managed internally by some of our most experienced personnel. It was an extremely complex project to execute as the mill remained in operation throughout, with only a three month shutdown of one machine taken to complete the necessary engineering works and to re-commission the entire paper machine for LWC production.

“It really does highlight the extraordinary value to the company of our experienced, skilled and committed people.”

Almost 200 Tasmanian firms were involved in the project, with local expenditure of more than $40 million, in addition to the $140 million spent locally on wages and salaries every year.

The Boyer Mill produced Australia’s first newsprint in 1941 and has operated continuously for more than 73 years. The converted machine has annual capacity of around 140,000 tonnes of lightweight coated paper suitable for catalogues and magazines.

Pictured cutting the ribbon: Derwent Valley Council mayor Martin Evans, Boyer union representative Rodney Graham and general manager Rod Bender

Sections: Newsmedia industry


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