Tasmania, Australia 26 August 2011 -- Integrated forestry company Gunns Limited today announced it has awarded a contract to begin bulk earthworks for the Bell Bay pulp mill project. The contract was awarded to a Tasmanian joint-venture between John Holland and Hazell Bros.
Greg L’Estrange, Gunns’ managing director, said the John Holland-Hazell Bros joint venture, which has a combined workforce of more than 500 in Tasmania, won the contract against a strong field of local and interstate suppliers.
“What the tender process showed was that Tasmanian companies are smart in how they play to their strengths and build alliances to provide highly competitive bids for what is a significant local contract,” L’Estrange said. “The bulk earthworks are clearly substantial progress towards bringing the mill to reality, and Gunns will do it with a team using local expertise,” he said.
Gunns has spent more than AUD 200 million on the mill to date, including the approval process, roading and vegetation clearing, management plan preparation, and monitoring, and on major materials and equipment, such as turbines and generators awaiting installation.
The bulk earthworks will advance the access road construction and site clearing, which Gunns completed last year, by resurfacing the site and laying the platform for the mill processing plant. Works are expected to take seven months to complete.
L’Estrange said that the pulp mill project was a very significant project for Tasmania and the northern region of Tasmania, in particular. “Over time, the pulp mill will bring and keep 3100 full-time jobs to Tasmania, which is 12 times the direct employment of the mill, and 2600 of those jobs are expected to be in the local area,” he said.