Summary of the project

A world-scale, bleached hardwood Kraft pulp mill, located on the southern edge of the Bell Bay industrial zone in the Tamar Valley, northern Tasmania.

Pulp, the processed wood fibre from the mill, is used for making paper and other products such as tissue.

Production capacity of 1.1 million air dried tonnes (ADt) Capital cost of $2.3 billion. It will contribute an estimated $9.9 billion to the Gross State Product and $3.7 billion to the Gross Regional Product of Tasmania’s Northern Region from 2011-2030.

The project will create approximately 3,100 new full-time jobs and maintain them in Tasmania over each year of the mill’s operations, which is 12 times the direct employment in the mill.
100% hardwood plantation fibre source, mainly from Tasmania, with some supply from mainland Australia. No native forest timber will be used.

The mill is located adjacent to an existing wood chip mill and has existing rail infrastructure and access to high voltage power supply and natural gas supply.

A new purpose-built wharf will be located adjacent to the pulp mill from which processed pulp will be loaded to ships for export. This will also serve as a receiving point for construction equipment.

The mill will use Elemental Chlorine Free Light (ECF light) bleaching technology, which is the most advanced pulp bleaching technology available.

The plantations that will supply the mill are currently undergoing certification of responsible management through the Forest Stewardship Council. Plantations already certified under the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC) and the Australian Forestry Standard.

The pulp product will serve world markets, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.

180 MW power generation from mill “black liquour” (wood residues), plantation bark and chip screening residues, which will provide a surplus of over 100 MW of “green power” for sale to the national grid. This is greater than the combined industrial and domestic power usage in the greater Launceston area.

Rigorous environmental monitoring regime under Australian and Tasmanian Government environmental regulations is in place.

Independent monitoring and public reporting of environmental and social performance through a multi-stakeholder Project Monitoring Group.

The pulp mill will be built on a 663 ha site between the eastern bank of the Tamar River, across from the settlement of Rowella, and the East Tamar Highway.

It is located near the southern end of the Bell Bay Industrial zone, approximately 10 km south of the township of George Town. The site was zoned for industrial use in 1990 and was formerly owned by Rio Tinto Aluminium Ltd.

Adjacent infrastructure within the Bell Bay Industrial Zone includes the TasPorts Bell Bay Port, TEMCO metallurgical plant, Ecka Granules aluminium powder plant, Tamar Valley Power Station and the Rio Tinto Aluminium-Alcan smelter.

Other industries in the Tamar Valley region include wine grapes, grazing, orchards and tourism.

The Bell Bay site was chosen over the alternative site at Hampshire as it was identified as superior on economic, planning and social considerations, and equal to Hampshire environmentally.