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KordaMentha has re-opened a Gunns woodchip mill that has been closed for two years after securing new contracts with Japan. The re-opening of the mill has been welcomed as a piece of good news for the Tasmanian timer industry which has suffered a series of blows in recent years.
Located in Long Reach, the resumption of the mill has allowed Gunns to hire more than 100 contractors to work the plant, with plans to supply 500,000 tonnes of plantation woodchips by March next year.
KordaMentha Partner Bryan Webster says that the re-opening will help to preserve the value of the forestry businesses in the region and with 10 shiploads to Japan locked in, will inject up to $3.5 million into the state's economy.
Bryan hopes that this will also help to alleviate the loss of the state's forestry skills.
"There's not a lot of money being made out of this but what I'm worried about is, if I shut down the whole of Gunns from a woodchipping perspective, there's going to be so much of a brain drain and a skill drain from Tasmania," he said.
“We've got a good end-to-end woodchipping business that would be able to sustain itself for 15 years. And obviously with the replantings and the maturity of a tree for 15 years, you could run the operation in perpetuity.”
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