WEST Australian Newspapers Holdings Ltd has set a 14-month deadline to have new high-speed presses installed at its Herdsman premises. When fully operational, the new technology will be capable of printing an entire weekday run of The West Australian in just over two hours, and the newspaper’s Saturday edition in about four hours. Work has already begun on the $170 million upgrade and WAN’s managing director, Ian Law, has told staff he hoped the project would be fully operational by August/ September next year. A further $30 million will be outlaid to cover redundancy payouts for up to 220 full-time positions. Mr Law has outlined details of the upgrade in the company’s latest staff newsletter, House News.He said the new presses would be capable of printing back-to-back four colour at more than double the speed of WAN’s current capability. “The schedule for the production upgrade is to have the first three presses printing good copies in about August/ September 2006,” Mr Law said. The total capital expenditure on the new presses, publishing systems and new premises is to be spread over a four-year period to 2008-09.
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