Paul Sundstrom headed a rescue effort to take the steel mill proposal out of administrators hands.
Paul Sundstrom headed a rescue effort to take the steel mill proposal out of administrators hands. Luka Kauzlaric

'Reasonable chance': Project director hopeful for steel mill

THE director behind the proposed Gladstone Steel Plant Project says there is still a "reasonable chance" it could go ahead, despite a recent setback.

Late last year the State Government cancelled the Gladstone Steel Plant Project's 'Coordinated Project' status after five years of inactivity on its Environmental Impact Statement.

The status was canned because the business had not provided additional information about its EIS after the draft document was released in 2013.

But yesterday Euroa Steel director Paul Sundstrom told The Observer that regardless of the status of the project, the business would continue the search for investors.

Mr Sundstrom said since early last year the project had worked with a Sydney consultancy company, which had regular contact with potential investors.

To go ahead with the proposed steel mill Mr Sundstrom said it needed an $8billion investment.

The project has been on and off the table since 2008.

It was initially proposed by Boulder Steel, which went into administration in July 2013.

Mr Sundstrom headed a rescue group, determined to save the project.

A video made for the project in 2011: 

It raised $50,000 from 242 investors in August 2014 and took the proposal out of administrators' hands.

Asked of the likelihood of the project going ahead, Mr Sundstrom said there was a "reasonable chance of a successful outcome".

"It's disappointing we haven't produced an outcome but we're still in there trying," he said.

Mr Sundstrom said many investors were from the Gladstone Region and were hopeful of progress on the project to create job opportunities.

"We're in regular contact with the investors and it's pleasing to see how many of them are interested in that (employment) aspect, rather than monetary gain," he said.

"Gladstone people are genuinely keen to create job opportunities."

Mr Sundstrom said the company was still focused on building the full-scale project, which would produce five million tonnes of steel a year.

A pilot plant, which uses red mud from Queensland Alumina Limited to produce steel, is also part of the proposal.

While Mr Sundstrom was initially "very concerned" about the State Government's decision to cancel the project's coordinated project status, he said the steel mill could still go ahead.

Mr Sundstrom said there was still interest in building the project on Gladstone State Development Area land but he understood the project would need to secure funding first.

Coordinated project status is given to significant projects and allows proponents to receive help from the Office of the Coordinator-General through complex government processes.

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