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Wespine spends $13 million on Dardanup plant

WESPINE Industries has completed a $13 million upgrade of its Dardanup sawmill, confirming its position as one of the State’s major pine processors.

The upgrade was the fifth stage in a program of phased development that has caused the company to invest a total of $57 million over the past decade. The expansion has made Wespine one of the South West’s biggest employers with 225 staff.

Wespine CEO Bob Style said the latest expansion included installation of a revolutionary ‘curve gang’ saw that boosted output and also increased the timber recovered from each log.

The expansion would allow the company to increase its through-put of sawlogs from 320,000 cubic metres per annum to 360,000 cubic metres per annum.

Mr Style said pine was increasingly being used as a replacement for hardwoods such as jarrah and karri, which have restricted supplies.

“As traditional hardwood supplies diminish even further, pine will offer certainty and continuity for the building and furniture industries,” he said.

Wespine is 50 per cent owned by Wesfi, a wholly-owned subsidiary of New Zealand’s Fletcher Building, which also owns a particleboard plant at Dardanup and a medium density fibreboard plant at Welshpool. The other 50 per cent is owned by Wesfarmers Bunnings (Sotico).

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