ECT is pleased to announce the first successful step in the creation of the Prime wood processing cluster - a $4.7 million dollar joint venture with innovative processor Wood Engineering Technology Ltd (WET) – a project expected to contribute significantly to job creation and economic impact of the Prime site.
WGL will commercialise WET’s innovative process that enables the transforming of lower grade K logs into high value certified structural lumber for the New Zealand and global building industry. It’s a process that will fundamentally change the economics of the sawmilling for engineered structural timber products globally - making much more efficient use of the East Coast’s renewable raw materials.
The process uses logs that are low value and currently exported for disposable packaging or concrete form work. Given the quality of the finished product, the WGL process adds significant value. For that reason, the WGL process extends the use of our valuable forest resource with the potential to use wood which was previously burned, left to rot or used to produce disposable, single cycle products.
WET was formed in 2003 by a group of New Zealand businessmen with extensive international technical and commercial track records in forestry, wood processing and bringing emerging technologies to market.
ECT and WET have each appointed two directors to the Board of WGL - Dr Paul Reynolds (Gisborne), Philip Searle (Gisborne), Peter Pettit (Auckland) and Tony Johnston (Auckland) - and have elected independent Chairperson Michael Andrews. Mr Andrews has a long association with the forestry industry in Gisborne, being directly involved in the establishment and planting of what is now Hikurangi Forest Farms, a past director of the Eastland Port and Eastland Network and having had a career of more than 35 years with Fletcher Challenge culminating as CEO and a director.
Jobs, investment and training.
By March 2017, management intend the plant will be installed and the mechanical commissioning phase complete. During this time the site will create seven jobs and inject $1 million in to the local economy.
Once the plant is fully-operational, expected to be late 2017, it is anticipated it will create 20 jobs directly, increasing to 40 jobs directly as the other stages are phased in. In the long-term there is an opportunity to grow to three full size plants on the Prime site creating even further opportunities for employment – both direct and indirect.
WGL management is committed to working with the community and local companies where ever possible, and is excited about the employment and training opportunities it can bring to the region.