An $8 million upgrade to a steel processing centre in Whyalla will create a state-of-the-art facility and further enhance the Spencer Gulf as a manufacturing hub in South Australia – securing up to 160 jobs.
The project will be delivered by Ferretti International with the Marshall Liberal Government providing $2 million from the Regional Growth Fund and the Morrison Federal Government providing $750,000 from its Manufacturing Modernisation Fund.
The processing centre will be able to support Whyalla Steel Works with its transformation and allow steel to be processed in the Spencer Gulf city for the Australian market.
Premier Steven Marshall, who announced the project in Whyalla today, said the new processing facility would drive economic growth in South Australia.
"Whyalla has a long and proud history of manufacturing in South Australia and this $8 million state-of-the-art steel processing facility will further cement its place on the national and international market," said Premier Marshall.
"This project has the potential to transform Whyalla into an advanced manufacturing hub and secure up to 160 jobs in the process.
"The new facility will allow steel being processed in Whyalla to increase from 2,000 tonnes a year to 1,000 tonnes a month.
"Regional South Australia will play a key role in our economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic which is why projects like this one are so important."
Federal Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said this project shows what can happen when governments work together to incentivise private businesses to invest.
"This speaks to the Morrison Government philosophy of a hand up, not a hand out – creating opportunity by backing industry to back itself," said Minister Andrews.
"The Manufacturing Modernisation Fund is leveraging more than four times our Government’s investment – creating much needed jobs, including in our regional areas."
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said the project is expected to create 10 jobs during construction and support up to 150 ongoing once the facility is up and running.
"The Marshall Liberal Government recognises that our regions are a key economic driver for South Australia and will be critical for the future prosperity of our state," said Minister Basham.
"The Regional Growth Fund helps unlock new economic activity and projects such as this one in Whyalla will help our regional communities which have been hurting as a result of the recent bushfires, drought and the ongoing impacts of coronavirus.
"This new steel processing facility will allow a cost- efficient value add to Whyalla steel allowing local steel to compete with currently imported fabricated steel.
"The Regional Growth Fund is a 10-year commitment offering $15 million in grants annually to support projects that will deliver tangible benefits to regional South Australia and most importantly creates jobs."
Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said "This joint investment from the private sector, State and Federal Governments is strong expression of our collective confidence in the steel industry and in Whyalla’s place in it."
"The COVID virus has demonstrated our vulnerability to supply chain disruption and refocussed our attention on the industries, essential to our security, in which we must retain a strong local production capacity. Steel is one of those industries both production and fabrication. We are Australian manufacturing and we are backing Whyalla."
Work on the project is expected to begin in the coming months and take up to two years to be fully functioning.