Installing state-of-the-art machineryWith the assistance of the grant, Dongwha is investing in energy-efficient equipment and technology, centred on installing state-of-the-art saw line and log-handling machinery.
Replacing the existing sawmill, the new equipment will allow the company to significantly increase capacity to 400,000 tonnes of sawlogs each year, up from 100,000 tonnes at present.
The sawmill will also lower its carbon emissions per tonne of wood produced, as the new equipment increases the amount of timber sawn from each log, and generates less waste.
Dongwha will also replace its existing wood-fired boiler with two new energy-efficient gas-fired boilers, develop a new timber treatment plant on site, and relocate the company's Geelong facility in Victoria to the Bombala site.
These measures will substantially reduce Dongwha's environmental impact. They will enable the company to reduce carbon emissions intensity by 37.5 per cent annually, and reduce energy costs by 60 per cent each year.
Given energy costs represent around 8 per cent of the company's overall costs, the project will help Dongwha become more environmentally and financially sustainable.
The project has also helped Dongwha secure 87 jobs and create more than 120 construction jobs. "This grant is allowing us to continue to support the local region," Mr Crawley says.
The work funded by the grant will underpin ongoing efforts by Dongwha to further reduce energy costs and emissions, including through exploring energy cogeneration facilities that would allow the Sandy Lane sawmill to meet all its energy needs on site.