Malaysian investors to save Gladstone steel project

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Image credit: flick user: groovyholly

The future of the proposed steel plant in Gladstone steel project will be resolved in November, when a team of Malaysian investors will visit to assess the situation and decide whether to commit $5 billion to the project which has been struggling to secure financial backing.

Image credit: flick user: groovyholly
Image credit: flick user: groovyholly

“It’s crunch time for us. You may never see us again after Christmas or you’ll see us all the time,” said CEO David Simpson.

The proposed plant, which has been designed to produce five million tonnes per annum of high quality steel, would provide 1,800 operational jobs for local communities.

According to The Gladstone Observer, Director Ross Johnson said at the Gladstone Engineering Alliance Major Industry Conference they wanted to be ready for construction in January 2016.

He said it was doubtful whether Gladstone could provide the required workforce of 1,800, which could lead to a “camp” situation until any employees from out of town could be settled.

“We’re envisaging local companies will take the lead and they may bring in others with skills they don’t have themselves,” Mr Johnson said.

“Our work situation is such that we’d like to think we can provide jobs for two partners of a family, and one thing we’re conscious of is childcare, so we will also be incorporating childcare facilities on or off site.”

Mr Johnson then proceeded to clarify how the company structure would now work, following some confusion in the community.

“Boulder is the name that many people will be familiar… it’s just going to float off into the distance and do something else not involved in the project.”

He said the new major shareholder of Boulder Steel was essentially the former Boulder Steel Rescue Group, now known as Gladstone Steel Pty Ltd, and there were arrangements between the three groups that would take Boulder out of the project.