Forest Enterprises Australia (FEA) and Neville Smith Timber Industries are to jointy develop and operate a wood products export business at Bell Bay in Tasmania.

The project, costing A$8m, will initially export sawmill residue woodchips and chips from sustainable sources but will later export wood from FEA’s eucalypt plantations. FEA manages more than 18,000ha of plantation eucalypts on behalf of private forest growers.

FEA’s chief executive Chris Oldfield said the project was not only an important development for the Tasmanian timber industry but was also a significant step in the company’s aim to become a fully integrated forest products company.