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Friday analysis: Timberlink takes a major step in engineered timber production

This week Australia took a major step in increasing our sovereign capability to manufacture engineered timber products while reducing reliance on imports.

In August this year Timberlink’s NeXTimber facility at Tarpeena in South Australia’s South East produced its first GLT beam.

Timberlink CEO Ian Tyson described that event as “very meaningful”.

This week the facility pressed its first Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panel.

The newly commissioned CLT line can produce panels up to 16M long and 3.5M wide and will unlock significant capability to manufacture mass timber building products in Australia.

From the outset Timberlink was faced with the choice of either South Australia or Victoria for the site.

Victoria was considered for its closeness to markets; SA was considered because of the availability of timber and because Timberlink already had a mill in Tarpeena.

Timberlink’s decision to build the $59 million manufacturing facility – the first in Australia to produce both types of timber product – at Tarpeena in South Australia was widely welcomed.

Mr Tyson said that with the facility being constructed at Tarpeena there were benefits with being located on the same site as the company’s existing saw mill.

Support from the South Australian Government, District Council of Grant, and local members of parliament was also very strong.

Most of the product will be supplied into large buildings in capital cities in Australia with Timberlink aiming to grow the market and replace imports that primarily come from Europe.

This is the first step, and Timberlink is to be congratulated for taking it.

The facility is scheduled for full production by the end of October.