Originally announced in June of 2021, work to build the second production line at the state-of-the-art Wood Engineering Technology (WET) at Matawhero, New Zealand is advancing. The building is being called G1.2.
Shaun Bosson, the chief executive, said WET’s second Optimized Engineered Lumber (OEL) production line, despite “a few unavoidable delays,” will be fully operational by Q4 of 2023. “The building to house all the production equipment is 40 percent complete, and we are starting the installation of the plant equipment over the coming few weeks.”
The first plant, already in operation at the former Prime sawmill site, is the only one of its type in the world. It produces WET’s “breakthrough” product OEL, which is one of only seven engineered lumber products ever commercialized.
Last year, the company raised $30 million through a combination of the Provincial Growth Fund ($13.9m) and private investors to build a second line, which will require approximately 20 technically qualified people working there.
Two more plants, each with two production lines, are also planned for Gisborne through a larger $200m expansion plan. When completed, the Gisborne location will have six production lines producing up to 140,000 cubic meters of OEL a year—enough for more than 11,000 houses—and employing more than 130 people.
The Gisborne operation is run by WET Gisborne Ltd, a joint venture between WET and regional economic development agency Trust Tairawhiti, which owns the Dunstan Road site where the adjoining former Prime sawmill is now operated by Kiwi Lumber.
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Second engineered lumber plant being built