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Coromandel To Benefit From Wood Processing Plant

4 September 2002

Coromandel To Benefit From New Wood Processing Plant

Industry and Regional Development Minister, Jim Anderton today welcomed the announcement that Blue Mountain Lumber Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ernslaw One Ltd, plans to install a $25 - $30M sawmill on the Coromandel Peninsula.

Kiln drying will occur on a 24 hour basis but the mill itself is expected to be a single shift operation employing 35-40 skilled people.

“This is excellent news for the people of Coromandel and for our wood processing industry. This is another example of the development of a processing plant where the jobs will be created here and not overseas. New Zealand needs to see more investments of this type and this Labour Progressive Government is committed to working with industries and regions to achieve greater growth in wood processing,” said Jim Anderton.

“I am pleased to see the processing plant will use high tech modern wood processing equipment, which will result in higher productivity and more skilled jobs.

“Ernslaw One has been involved with the Wood Processing Steering Group which has been working to process as much of the wall of wood as possible and this is a another successful outcome of this steering group,” said Jim Anderton.

Matthew Hitchings the Operations Manager for Blue Mountain announced today that, “the new sawmill will ideally be sited close to Ernslaw One’s forests in the region, and will process logs from these forests into kiln-dried sawn lumber. Locating a sawmill close to the forest will dramatically reduce logging truck movements out of the region.”

The move has also been welcomed by Chris Lux, the Mayor of Thames – Coromandel, as a strong sustainable project which adds value to a local product, providing jobs and opportunities for the region.

The equipment for the sawmill has been sourced from Norway and is currently being readied for shipment to New Zealand.

Blue Mountain Lumber’s Operations Manager, Matt Hitchings, said, “Although we have not yet obtained the necessary resource consents, purchasing such quality equipment was an opportunity too good to miss. We were aware of the time required to obtain a consent and to consult fully with all concerned and are committed to doing this.”

Blue Mountain Lumber plans to have an open day in the near future in order to communicate the company’s plans and to assist in gaining community input into the project.


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