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A$21mn investment in Mt Gambier particleboard

22 July 2003

Carter Holt Harvey’s A$21 million investment set to make
Mt Gambier particleboard operation Australia’s largest

Carter Holt Harvey (CHH) will spend $21 million on CHH Pinepanels’ Mt Gambier particleboard operations in South Australia over the next 12 months – most of it on a capacity upgrade that will make it the largest particleboard operation in the country.

The investment will see $15.8 million applied to a 23% increase in production capacity across the company’s Lakeside and White Avenue facilities, taking total capacity to 277,000m3 per annum. A further $5.2 million will be in invested in a Wet Electrostatic Precipitator to reduce air emissions at the White Avenue site.

CHH Pinepanels Chief Executive Ian Myers says, “These investments demonstrate our ongoing commitment to Mt Gambier, and our confidence in the performance and growth potential of our local operations.”

“We have been assessing the needs of the market and our customers for some time and this investment in Mount Gambier is the first initiative resulting from this process. We are extremely well positioned to service Trans Tasman market growth and we are well advanced in our investigations into further capacity expansion. This underpins our confidence in meeting market and customer requirements in the longer term.”

The $5.2 million investment in air emission improvements continues the program started following CHH’s acquisition of the CSR Panels operation in May 2000. This has included a $4.8 million investment in 2000 to replace a drier at the Lakeside facility.

“CHH is committed to ensuring we work with the communities where we operate to achieve long term sustainable operations including care for the environment. The installation of a Wet Electrostatic Precipitator at our White Avenue site will enable us to significantly reduce air emissions,” says Mr Myers.

Today’s announcement builds on the $15.34 million upgrade of CHH Radius’ Mt Gambier sawmill announced in April this year, and brings to over $41 million the total value of current capital investment projects by Carter Holt Harvey in South Australia.

ENDS

NB: All dollar figures are AUD

Carter Holt Harvey (www.chh.com) is a leading Australasian wood-fibre manufacturing and marketing company, supplying the New Zealand and Australian markets and exporting throughout Asia and around the Pacific Rim. Leading Carter Holt Harvey brands include Sorbent, Deeko, Treasures, Libra, Customwood, Pinex and Bestwood. Carter Holt Harvey is listed on both the NZX and ASX, and employs about 11,000 people across New Zealand and Australia. The company's head office is in Auckland, New Zealand.

Pinepanels is the wood panels manufacturing business of Carter Holt Harvey employing about 1,100 people across seven locations in both Australia and New Zealand. Apart from servicing a strong Trans Tasman market, Pinepanels manufactures over one million m3 of wood panels each year from renewable resources to key market destinations in Japan, China and the United States. Panel products produced include Medium Density Fibreboard, Mouldings and Particleboard and brands include Structaflor, Termiflor, Customwood, Fast Finish Mouldings, Pyneboard and Colourpyne.

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