Patriarch Resources Pty Ltd, a subsidiary company of Patriarch and Sons Pty Ltd, is seeking to establish a hardwood rotary peel and engineered timber mill in the industrial zone at Bell Bay.

The company, which has purchased the former Southern Aluminium Wheel Plant site for the proposed mill, is currently working to obtain the appropriate development and environmental statutory approvals.

Director Allen Wong said if approved the development would occur in various stages.

“The construction of stage one and two is worth more than $28 million, covering site purchase, adaption of the factory and plant and equipment,” Mr Wong said.

“More than $4 million in local building and electrical work will be required and will be directed to local firms as much as possible.

“It is estimated that the project will create between 30 to 40 jobs during construction, while the operation of the facility will create up to 80 positions.

“A third stage – a proposed engineered timber stage – will involve an additional investment of more than $22 million and will create further training and employment opportunities.”

Mr Wong said Patriarch planned to purchase wood from existing public and private sources, comprising certified wood from plantations and native forests that was currently wood chipped.

“The proposed veneer mill will provide opportunities for wood currently planned to be harvested to benefit from an additional value-adding process,” he said.

“This will involve a different approach to resource utilisation and management, and will require a significant investment in a range of innovations.

“We will engage with a range of local experts, including the University of Tasmania to extend research into value-adding of plantation timber.”

Patriarch was recently formed by private investors who have had a long history of investment and operation in the timber industry in Malaysia.

Subject to approvals, the project will be developed in stages. The first stage is planned to be operational by mid-2019.

The second stage, which will proceed concurrently, is planned for operation in the fourth quarter of 2019.

A third stage to include engineered timber is planned to proceed once further development of techniques are concluded successfully.