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Coastpine to expand Reefton mill

08 October 2004

Coastpine to expand Reefton mill

The West Coast Development Trust has announced its third largest business loan for 2004 – a distribution of up to $720,000 to Reefton sawmilling firm, Coastpine.

The loan will be used to purchase and install a second kiln and dry shed, and provide working capital to cover the increase in stocks required.

Coastpine currently employs 24 staff and the expansion will result in six more full-time jobs in Reefton.

“We currently have excess cutting capacity within the mill”, says Coastpine manager, Stephen Hunt.

“At the moment our single kiln runs 24 hours and we’re producing more sawn timber than we can dry. The second kiln will increase our efficiencies and our ability to add value to our output.”

In 2003, Coastpine received an initial Development Trust loan of $120,000 which was used for working capital. The Trust then engaged an independent expert adviser to assess the larger second application. A condition of the second loan is the advisor, who has an extensive background in forestry and timber processing, is appointed an independent director to Coastpine’s board.

“Timber processing is a major industry on the Coast, and the Trust investment will ensure a major employer in Reefton has a sustainable future,” says Development Trust chief executive, Mike Trousselot.

“This project satisfied all of the key Development Trust requirements – delivering sustainable employment, sustainable economic benefits and strong potential for achieving self sufficiency.”

“Coastpine’s expansion is not expected to detrimentally impact on other Coast mills – if anything, it will assist in strengthening the local industry” says Mike Trousselot.

ENDS

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