Bosses bullish on steel plant
THE Boulder Steel plant earmarked for Mount Larcom will pump $450 million into Gladstone for 50 years, according to Boulder Steel acting project manager Ross Johnson.
“Forty-five per cent of the plant will be made in Gladstone which could rise as high as 50 to 60 per cent,” Mr Johnson said.
“We will have no maintenance on site. It will be contracted out to locals and $130 million will be spent yearly on maintenance alone.”
Speaking at the Golding Industry Conference yesterday, Mr Johnson said 1278 people would be hired to work in the steel plant with several million-dollar contracts awarded locally.
“We expect to be putting in the first shovel by April 2012,” he said.
Boulder Steel is proposing to construct and operate an integrated steel plant at a site in the Aldoga Precinct of the Gladstone State Development Area.
The eventual production capacity of the plant will be five million tonnes per annum of semi-finished steel products to supply the equally important downstream processing facilities of Boulder Steel in Saudi Arabia.
Recent reports indicated Australia’s labour costs and the potential emissions trading scheme meant new steel mills were unlikely to be economic and every plan to build steel mills in Australia in the past 10 years had not been able to get off the ground.
Boulder Steel general manager Carl Moser at the time told The Observer that the impact of a carbon tax on Boulder’s operations would be minimal and at the Golding Industry Conference Johnson echoed this view.
“The reports in The Australian newspaper were wrong,” Mr Johnson said. “Boulder Steel’s product is viable and attractive and the potential to go ahead is very real.”