Boulder Steel’s Gladstone Steel plant project development will bring enormous benefits to the region.
Boulder Steel’s Gladstone Steel plant project development will bring enormous benefits to the region. Contributed

Community offered chance to be part of Boulder Steel

GLADSTONE's community is being offered the opportunity to become part of the $4.4 billion Boulder Steel project - in more ways than one.

Once the project begins, local engineering contractors will be invited to perform the work on a sophisticated cost-plus system, which will ensure the project is locally driven.

However, to get the project off the ground, the rescue team is also looking for mum and dad contributions that could benefit from substantial returns in the short term.

They say as the Asian environment for steel changes, the prospects for the project are trending the right way.

If the project goes ahead, it has the potential to bring 1800 jobs to the Gladstone region, besides many other contractors to service the plant once it is running.

Paul Sundstrom, who is co-ordinating the rescue plan, said if sufficient money were raised, the community would end up "owning" Boulder Steel and controlling it, similar to the Bendigo Bank community branch structures.

"The new shares being offered to the community are Class 1 voting shares, which will give it this control," he said.

"We're not talking about huge amounts of money to get it off the ground."

The rescue group is asking for a minimum contribution of $100, which allocates the Class 1 shares at 1 cent to all contributors - so a contributor of $100, would receive 10,000 shares.

Mr Sundstrom said the rescue plan was being supported in principle by the Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Ltd, which was working with the group to arrange a suitable account where funds from the community could be directed.

"The chances of the project proceeding vary between 50% and 70%, in my carefully considered opinion, depending on the amount raised," he said.

He said the rescue group had initially hoped to obtain the necessary funds from local engineering businesses, but the offer was open to all community members.

HISTORY:

  •  July 2008: Gladstone is chosen as the new home for the steel plant, owing to its proximity to the port, power, rail and coal.
  •  April 2009: Then Queensland CG Colin Jensen declared the facility a significant project.
  •  May 2009: The draft terms of reference for the Environmental Impact Statement were released.
  •  January 2013: Boulder Steel signed a Letter of Intent for the supply of steel slabs to Panyu Chu Kong Steel Pipe Co for the potential off-take by PCK of up to 2.2 million tonnes a year from the proposed Gladstone Steel Plant.
  •  July 2013: Boulder Steel goes into voluntary administration.


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