BlueScope invests in NSW manufacturing
BlueScope has announced it will invest $20 million in a new BlueScope Renewable Manufacturing Zone (BRMZ) at Port Kembla in the Illawarra — the foundation of a new sustainable manufacturing base for NSW.
The BRMZ will underpin the NSW Government’s recently announced NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap, a 20-year plan for the local manufacture of dispatchable/firmed renewable energy and electricity transmission infrastructure to replace coal-fired energy. The company says the BRMZ also aligns with the federal government’s recently announced Manufacturing Strategy with its focus on building Australia’s sovereign capability.
“Half of the $20 million incentive program will be on offer to companies who want to build manufacturing capability in NSW, especially in the fast-growing renewable energy sector,” said BlueScope’s Managing Director and CEO, Mark Vassella. “The other half would be invested by BlueScope directly at the steelworks, to tool up our facilities in preparation for this exciting growth opportunity.
“BlueScope believes the Illawarra can rise to the challenge of climate change and we have great confidence in the potential of the NSW Government’s proposed new local content procurement policy to spur new innovation, attract investment and create new jobs.
“We are proud of steel’s role as an enabler to sustainable development and the transition to a clean energy future.”
The incentive program is to be used to partner with innovators and entrepreneurs to develop new technology solutions in key industries like renewables, infrastructure, defence, manufacturing and sustainable buildings, according to the company.
“BlueScope will incentivise companies who have a vision for smart, clean, green industrial solutions,” said Vasella. “We want to encourage a new supply chain that creates regional jobs and vital economic development across the Illawarra.
“There are a range of incentives BlueScope would be willing to consider including co-investment in start-ups, joint R&D pilot programs, office rental accommodation, leases for manufacturing sites, warehousing and logistics facilities, and access to professional technical expertise from within BlueScope and, we expect, external organisations such as the University of Wollongong and other universities across NSW.
“An immediate focus will be supporting the manufacture of wind tower, solar farm, pumped hydro and electricity transmission facilities. There is large and growing demand for all these equipment types which, in NSW, are currently imported as pre-fabricated finished goods.
“This innovative approach will see BlueScope become a leader in sustainable steel products supplying the massively expanding Australian sustainable infrastructure sector, which governments across Australia are actively investing in as part of the COVID-19 economic recovery.”
“This is a great time to be an Australian manufacturer; a time when all our key stakeholders — the community, our employees, governments at all three levels, unions, suppliers, investors and customers — all combine to rebuild Australia’s manufacturing capacity. It will lead to new jobs, economic development and a sustainable Australian steel industry,” Vassella concluded.
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