Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has welcomed progress on a project in the Latrobe Valley that promises to create hundreds of jobs.
Opal Australian Paper and SUEZ plan to begin construction on an Energy from Waste facility at the Maryvale paper mill before the end of next year.
This first stage is expected to be finished in early 2025 and have capacity to process 325,000 tonnes of waste each year to generate steam and electricity for the mill.
The Maryvale facility is expected to create more than 500 jobs in Victoria during construction, with 225 of those in Gippsland. Once operational, the facility will support 450 ongoing direct and indirect positions in the state. This includes work for around 130 people in Gippsland.
Mr Chester announced in 2017 the Federal Government would provide $2.5 million toward a feasibility study into the construction of the facility.
“This project presents a significant economic opportunity for the Latrobe Valley during both the construction phase and once the facility is operational,” Mr Chester said.
“Opal Australian Paper is already one of the largest employers in the Latrobe Valley and this $500 million investment in the Energy from Waste facility would be among the biggest private sector projects in Gippsland right now.
“The projected number of on-going jobs that will be created would make a significant difference to the economy in the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland more widely.
“This project is a show of faith in our region and our people at a time when the Federal Government is doing what it can to support jobs, generate employment and help businesses through the coronavirus recession.”
The Energy from Waste facility is designed to use non-recyclable waste products that would otherwise be sent to landfill to create a reliable, sustainable and cost-effective fuel source for the Maryvale Mill.