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In The News: UK firm in $70m Kwinana move

UK group Fenner plc has announced plans to invest $70 million establishing a factory at Kwinana to manufacture steelreinforced conveyor belts. The investment will be through its Australian division Fenner Dunlop and will be the first new conveyor belt plant built in Australia in more than 60 years. Construction on a 4.6- hectare site will begin in April, with production expected to commence in the second quarter 2009. Fenner’s global CEO Mark Abrahams said the initiative would further cement the company’s position in the minds of its customer as the world leading conveyor belt company. “Australia is the ideal country for this development due to its central location to growth markets in China, India and Africa,” Mr Abrahams said. Australian and Americas executive director David Landgren said the growing global and local market for steel cord had been a major driver for the investment. “Additionally, it is expected that due to the expertise required to make such an important belt for our customers, these kinds of belt must be made using a highly skilled and qualified team, just like those in Australia,” he said. The new Australian plant will become Fenner Dunlop’s 15th global conveyor belt manufacturing facility, and its fourth steel cord plant. Industry and Enterprise Minister Francis Logan welcomed the decision, saying the plant would be the largest and most technically advanced of its kind in the world and would create at least 150 new jobs.

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