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Border city for new XLam factory

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Albury-Wodonga, on the Victorian/New South Wales border, is set to be home to Australia’s first cross laminated timber (CLT) manufacturing plant. Source: ABC News

The $25 million XLam operation is expected to create up to 54 jobs when it begins operations, scheduled for 2017.

While XLam is yet to determine a location to establish the 60,000 square metre plant, the company hopes construction will begin as early as next month.

XLam Australia business development manager Rob De Bincrat said Albury-Wodonga stood out as a competitive destination for investment.

“So we did a lot of feasibility on a lot of different locations and Albury- Wodonga stacked up significantly compared to others,” he said.

“The reason for that is location to the Hume Highway and also the ability to source skilled labour for the 54 direct and indirect jobs we’ll require to bring this development to fruition.”

He said the investment would be a major boon for the border community.

“From a jobs perspective we’re looking at a total of 30 direct roles in manufacturing and service-linked roles within the business and approximately 24 indirect jobs within areas like distribution, services, just growing distribution,” he said.

“The site will be a highly visited area with clients and the popularity of CLT across the world, so it will also assist with hotels and local-led entertainment.”

CLT is fabricated by bonding together timber boards with structural adhesives to produce a solid timber panel, with each layer of the panel alternating between longitudinal and transverse layers.

Alternating the grain directions of each layer reduces many weakness found in other timber products.