Friday, 20 March 2020 11:00

$12.1m Government loan for wood processor

Written by  Staff Reporters
Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones. Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones.

Tairāwhiti’s wood processing sector will receive funding through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) to support the local economy amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today that WET Gisborne Ltd will receive a $12.1 million loan.

The funding will accelerate the development of WET Gisborne Ltd’s wood processing production line, which will produce a laminated structural wood product at the Wood Cluster Centre of Excellence located in Gisborne. 

“I’m pleased we’ve been able to work alongside the region on projects that will help diversify the forestry sector, which is overly reliant on log exports to China,” says Jones.

“This investment is another way the Government is supporting Gisborne and the wider region as the forestry industry experiences the effects of Covid-19. The PGF support will allow construction to begin on the production line and is part of a wider focus on wood processing that is expected to create 74 new jobs in coming months.

“Work is about to begin on the first phase of the production line that will increase capacity from 3.5 days per week to a 24hr/7days-a-week operation. The second phase, which will establish New Zealand’s first fully commercial scale line, will start next summer,” says Jones.

In addition to the loan, regional economic development ministers have also approved a $980,000 loan towards the Wood Cluster Heat Plant. 

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